When shooting on location, transporting, setting up, and breaking down truckloads of gear can be exhausting, but what if you had a comprehensive mounting solution that could fit in your backpack?
Welcome to the world of Tether Tools, a company focused on—you guessed it—tethering and mounting solutions for photographers. Their products range from the industry standard, high visibility orange tethering cables, to modular mounting kits for your iPad. We reviewed their inventory to put together a modular setup guide for location shooters. In no particular order, here are seven modular kits every location shooter can fit in their backpack.
Lo and behold—Tether Tools’ flagship RapidMount lines allows you to mount your speed lights, action cameras, smartphones or small accessories practically anywhere, from drywall and veneer to porcelain and marble. Using the RapidStrips system, simply attach one of them to your mount, peel off the tab, and stick it where you want it. Tether Tools prides themselves in their residue-free patented adhesive that does not damage the surface, and there are 10 RapidStrips included with the SLX or Q20.
This modular kit is designed to mount cameras, strobes, flashes, small monitors, umbrellas, cross bars, arms, iPads (when used with the AeroTab or Wallee line), and other gear to a variety of flat or round surfaces. Some of the most notable uses are mounting an iPad to a tripod leg, or attaching sound gear or lighting to automobiles and exercise equipment.
This cold shoe mount secures to any flat or round surface, designed to mount off-camera speed lights on the fly. It can fasten on surfaces and objects up to four inches thick, and is perfect for placing lights in tight corners and hard-to-reach places.
This kit is a tethering setup complete with a retention device that adds slack to your cable to prevent damage. It includes support for both your camera and computer and is available for a variety of inputs: USB, flat mount, telephone jack, network jack, and a clip-on option for those who have none of these ports available. Pair this with one of Tether Tools’ cables and you’re all set to start shooting without having to worry about damaging your cable or ports, a sigh of relief for anyone shooting in rough terrain or rugged locations.
This modular mount, created to be used with the Rock Solid Clamp, will fit on any grip gear with a female baby stud receptor. It’s armed with a 360-degree swivel that allows for 180-degree locking control, ideal for positioning speed lights in very precise positions. The kit includes a Rock Solid SuperFlex Arm and RapidMount Cold Shoe Elbow, while its built-in umbrella mount makes for an ideal system to create big, soft lighting in places that are too tight to fit a stand.
This kit was engineered with the working, professional photographer in mind. It comes complete with the JerkStopper Kit and Cable mentioned earlier, as well as everything you need to secure your laptop. The kit includes the Tether Table Aero, designed for bringing on location when hiking or traveling, as well as shooting in tight spaces. Additionally, it’s made of Aerospace aluminum, making it lightweight yet durable, hence the “Aero” namesake.
Also included is a full lineup of Aero table accessories, such as the ProPad, formulated to disperse the heat from your laptop battery, the SecureStrap, which stops your laptop from slipping, the Aero XDC, an external drive holder that attaches to the bottom of the table, and finally, the StrapMoore, which allows you to attach even more components—chargers, batteries, small devices—to your tripod or stand. And last but not least, the kit includes the Tether Tools Organization Case to keep all of your gear together.
Do you and your art director review your shots on the go? Most likely the answer is yes. And for this, the Wallee Connect Lite system has got you covered, providing everything you need to mount your iPad literally almost anywhere. The first piece to note is the Connect Lite Bracket, which attaches to your iPad using Tether Tools’ locking-X system. Then, you’ve got the Rock Solid Master Clamp we mentioned earlier. Finally, bridging the gap between the bracket and clamp is the Rock Solid Articulating Arm with Center Lock, which allows you to position your tablet in any direction and adjust its height without repositioning your clamp.
Header image photographed by Greg Neumaier.