Great photographers need to be excellent problems solvers that can rig up anything. Getting lights into tight spots or building new sets in tight quarters are just a few examples of what a photographer is faced with on a daily basis. When you are running a team of people, working with clients on set, or doing a test shoot by yourself, you will always have a new idea or inspiration that challenges you to light something differently. The Master Clamp is the tool to help you rig it up and not look like a fool in the process.
The Master Clamp, or Super Clamp, is by no means anything new to the photography industry. It's a widely used grip tool used on set of just about every production both film and still. It's also a tool that not enough photographers utilize or may even know about, especially if you are new to the industry. In this video, Rob Grimm of PRO Photo and PRO EDU shows us just a few ways to utilize the tool that make life easier on the photographer. In our studio at PRO EDU, we have a bin of 20 of these clamps with studs to match from a company called Tether Tools. On any given production we are using these clamps to securely build sweeps that cannot be knocked over, rig multiple lights on any given stand, hide cameras in tight spots for BTS shots, hide iPhones in tight spots, flags, go pros, diffusion panels, and just about everything in between. They are absolutely essential to helping you achieve your vision and keep the people on set creative, productive, and safe from falling objects. When the clock is ticking, the last thing you want to do is fumble around with lights or gear trying to rig something up.
These clamps will set you back anywhere from $25-40 and typically come with a stud and a wedge insert. While made by a variety of companies, especially cheap knock off companies, it's wise to invest a few dollars more into a quality product with sturdy components. These devices will undergo quite a bit of stress over the lifespan so invest in a company with a solid reputation and quality products. In doing so you may have the same clamps for your entire career.