When I don’t have a photographic assistant

tiffany1

There are times like the shot above, where the sun is cooperating and I can get beautiful light coming in the window. However, there are those other times when the light is too harsh and needs to be diffused.  I LOVE natural light!

Ask any photographer who has ever worked with an assistant on set and they will tell you that it’s absolutely fantastic to have some one to hold that reflector or move that light or change that setting. However, most times I’m flying solo when I’m in the studio. Although I get lots of offers from friends that want to volunteer to help me out, I just usually work alone. So the more equipment and gadgets that I can get to help me out the better.
One of my frustrations when shooting natural light coming through the windows is that sometimes I need to diffuse the light. This is where an assistant would come in to hold the diffuser at just the right angle. You won’t believe some of the ways that I’ve propped up diffusers in the past.

Lastolite to the rescue, again!

triflip

The first item in my bag of tricks is the Lastolite Mini TriFlip 8-in-1 Collapsible Reflector kit. This one does it all. It’s a reflector or a two stop diffuser. If you use it as a reflector you have a choice of white, silver sunfire, sunlite, or gold. You can also use it as a flag because you get black as well. Like I said, having an assistant to hold this up when needed is great, but when you’re flying solo then you’re going to want the next item.

The TriGrip Bracket

trigrip1

This handy gadget is an adjustable arm that holds your TriFlip Reflector at just about any angle you want by simply putting it on a light stand and adjusting it the way you want. It gets better, not only can it hold your TriFlip/TriGrip reflector/diffuser/flag, but it can also hold your speedlight. This is great for when you want to shoot through the diffuser to diffuse the light. Now you can do it all from just one light stand and you can keep your hands free to actually take the shot.

The Bottom Line

If you have an assistant GREAT! Then you’ve got someone to hold stuff up for you. However, if you work alone sometimes or if your assistant can’t be in two places at once holding stuff up, then you’ll definitely  want to check out both the TriFlip and TriGrip Bracket from Lastolite. I highly recommend them both. The Lastolite TriFlip kit goes for $75.95 at B&H Photo. The Lastolite TriGrip Bracket (not yet on B&H’s site – hint hint) goes for $117.90 here.

  • Dan

    You gave a price of $75.95 for the kit. That appears to be for the 18 inch size. Are you using one that small? The 30 inch model is in the $120-125 range. And the bracket appears to be out of stock everywhere. Come on, Terry, admit it. You got insider information on these 🙂 Thanks for the review. Excellent as usual.

    • HaMaer

      Hi Dan,

      Quick a comment and tip about the bracket. The joint in the middle is actually a single piece from a photographer’s accessories catalog of adifferent company. The company is called “Manfrotto” and the offers range from studio tripods up to individual clamps. Mark Cleghorn (Lastolite) did nothing else but mixing accessories from different manufacturers in order to get his holder together.

      My Tip: Check Manfrotto’s offer and go for a different tool called ‘Superclamp’. Screw it on a quick change plate and use it together with a 3-way tripodhead on any tripod of your desire. Works great and cost less than the currently unavailable attachment Mark Cleghorn offers for his TriGrip / TriFlip product.

      Hope that helps,

      Hans

      P.S. I actually talk about it from a practical view of own usage :-).

  • Dan,
    I gave the price (as I usually do) for getting started. You can always go bigger as you’ve discovered. Is it so bad having an inside track? 😉
    Thanks!

  • Scotty

    Another good write up Terry…
    But what really got me was the photo you used. It’s the type of photo that stops people dead in their tracks. Well Done!