22 November 2008

Duct/Duck tape

"Duct tape is like The Force. It has a light side, a dark side, and it holds the universe together...."
Carl Zwanzig

No photographer's gadget bag is complete without duct (or Duck) tape. However, carrying those big rolls around can be quite heavy especially if you're a photographer who shoots in the field - wildlife, landscape, macro etc where you don't need a 10m roll of the stuff and where you do need to travel light. 
It's fine for those photographers confined to the studio or shooting high end commercial work with big lighting rigs, there a roll of duck tape is hardly noticed. 

For the rest of us, a metre or two is all you'll need, negating the requirements for a big roll. But how can you carry it easily? 

Well, for those of you who remember film, I discovered about 8 years ago that a film canister is exactly the same width as a roll of duck tape. All you need to do is wrap 10 or 15 turns around the film canister and hey presto, instant gaffer tape on location. The real beauty of this though, is that you can still use the film canister to hold other items - blue-tac, paper clips, drawing pins, plasters, antisceptic wipes... whatever you need. And better still, it's waterproof in there as well. In fact, whether you put duck tape on the outside of a film canister or not, it's worth carrying one with some little bits in it anyway - especially the plasters and antisceptic wipes...or maybe that's just me. 

Duck tape really does have a million and one uses, but no, I won't list them for you! Here's just a few things I've used it for. 
* Sticking lens hoods onto lenses to stop them being knocked off
* Sticking flashguns to....well, just about anything
* Fixing broken kit
* Attaching light modifiers to flashguns
* Making random stuff


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