How To Pack And Organize 72 Rechargeable AA Batteries

How To Pack And Organize 72 Rechargeable AA Batteries

Seventy two Sanyo Eneloop Batteries in one compact package

Seventy two Sanyo Eneloop Batteries in one compact packagebatteries showing used and fresh charge

These images should be pretty self explanatory. A Pelican 1060 Micro case and AA battery holders from (they are in the Cool Tools section). This battery kit lives with my speed light flashes. It’s always there. The nifty thing about using this is that battery will insert either way. So if I insert the battery and the little silver top is showing in the hole ( at the top) it tells me its charged and ready. If the battery is inserted up side down and its showing the flat side (-)  it tells me it needs recharging. Simple but effective. They stay organized and makes traveling easier.

Budget Diffusion from Ikea

Budget Diffusion from Ikea


Hey! Listen up! Take notice ! I found these “curtains” at Ikea. They are a great deal like wedding dress tewell and diffuse the light very nicely.  This set was $2.99 and gave me two pieces 110″ x 98″.

I have stapled and layered these to a large artists stretcher frames and have made myself some very useful light modifiers. They would also work really well on location to diffuse light from a really strong sun filled window or to hang over the window while you blast your strobe into the room from the outside. Layer them up thick or thin, you have a great deal of lighting control.

No Ikea where you are? Just buy them on line. You can’t go wrong for only $2.99!!!

DSLR Shade For Every Lens

DSLR Shade For Every Lens

Mamiya lens shade on a Canon DSLRProblem solving 101.

I use both brand of 35 cameras. I was tired of all the lens shades that seem to clutter up my case. They all are designed specifically for each lens and work as they should but some of them are large and take up a lot of space.  One Friday while I was shooting a portrait with my Hasselblad and Phase back the light bulb went on. Why couldn’t I do the same with the 35 like I do with my Hasselblad?  I called the folks at Capture Integration and spoke with Dave Gallagher. He let me know he had some old Mamiya Lens shades for 645 and he was willing to let me try to solve my problem.

After receiving the shade, I needed to make some modifications. I need a threaded adapters that would fit the lenses and the lens shade. First off, I standardized everything to 77mm sizing, iFront View of a Mamiya Lens Shadet was also the largest the the shade could handle that was a common size and readily available. Next I purchased step up rings for all my lenses so that they would be a universal 77mm thread. The easy part was now done. Now I needed to have adapters machined. One side to fit the lens shade and the other with a 77mm thread that would screw into the step up rings. Fortunately a friend and colleague had some machine time available so we arranged to meet for a friday breakfast and discuss the project.

After bacon, eggs, pancakes, fruit and coffee, he decided that brass was the material to start with. George bought a block of brass and proceeded to machine two adapters to fit the shade and lens.  They worked perfectly. The only drawback was being a little heavy but they were built like a tank.

After trying the brass adapters George offered to make one out of aluminum. It turned out significantly lighter, but the problem was with the 77mm threads. . Watching a tool head on a metal lathe make these little threads is fascinating. After taking it out of the lathe we discovered that the aluminum really likes to gall on such small threads. We used a real cheap block of aluminum ($3) for the build. I’m sure we should have purchased a higher quality of aluminum to fix the threading problem but we were only making one and it was just a trial.

In the end, I found that using some silicon paste and a Q-tip to put a little on the threads really solved the problem of screwing the adapter into the step up rings. Solved.

I’m using the shade on everything except for one of my wide lenses. I’m a happy camper. This shade swings both ways and doesn’t seem to mind that its Nikon one day and Canon the next.

Hope this gave you some ideas. Til next time……

New Lumedyne Mounting Solution


I sometimes like working with my Lumedyne in concert with speed lights. In fact all my location work is now Speed Lights, Lumedyne, and a first release of the Elinchrom Ranger. This mounting idea came about when I was wanting a specular highlight right in the center of a FourSquare box that was a point source, with no diffusion on the box

After some tinkering, this is what I came up with. I am showing you that either of the two styles of Lumedyne heads can be mounted the same way, just a little different on how I drilled out the bar. A single head in a FourSquare is a great light when you need more than what a speed light can deliver. Let me know if this helps you out and we could make some up for you.

Easy Organization for your Speedlight Color Corrections Gels


It’s simple. A plastic worm bag organizer from Bass Pro Shops and/or a 3×5 recipe card holder from the office supply store. Actually I use them both. I put the CTO’s in the recipe holder because those are the ones we use most and then the more esoteric filters I put in the Bass Pro Worm Folder.  I use a label maker to keep them identified on the baggie and with a sharpie on the filter itself. Makes it easy for the assistants to find and put back the gels in the right place. Go ahead get organized.