New Zealand-based photographer Chris Cameron has a nice little kit he put together to mount his off-camera flash to any tree or pole. The setup centers around a plastic “dog bone” that you can make for yourself with a 3D printer.
The main ingredients you’ll need are a suitable strap (Cameron uses a Gotcha strap), a clamp, a cold shoe, a ball head, an umbrella adapter (optional), and the “plastic dog bone thing” (you can also download the STL 3D file or find a small alternative object that will do).
The basic idea is that you can add a clamp mounting point to any pole by securely fixing the dog bone to it using the strap:
Once the clamp is securely mounted, you can add whatever lighting setup you’d like to it:
“Traveling to regattas with all the gear needed to do, what I consider, a ‘proper’ job can be a pain in the lower back and the pocket (excess baggage fees),” Cameron writes. “I am always looking at ways to pare down the equipment I travel with. Anything I can do to save weight and space while still keeping my creative options open is a boon for me.”
This trick helped boil his “heavy bulky light stands down to a handful of bits weighing grams rather than kilos.”
“Using this trick, a trestle table standing on it’s end or a stack of chairs becomes a versatile light stand,” Cameron says. There are certainly limitations to this trick, but you can use it as a starting point to build a setup that works with the equipment you use.
Image credits: Video and still frames by Chris Cameron and used with permission