A few years back I was hired to shoot this wonderful property that is nestled right on beautiful Nanoose Bay on Vancouver Island. I was really excited about the opportunity; for me there is nothing more satisfying than shooting the interiors of a stunning home. The night before I went through my usual ritual of preparing for the photo session; organized my gear, charged the batteries for my strobes, placed all my gear in the dining room ready to roll the next morning.
The session started at 9:00am and since I had not been to this part of Vancouver Island before I wanted to get a head start. To be honest I think I was more concerned about finding the location than the photo session. I eventually found the location but as I unpacked my gear I realized that I had left my tripod behind. If you've done interiors before you will know that one of the most important characteristics of these types of photos are depth of focus - in other words everything needs to be tack-sharp. So you are using tiny apertures and slow shutter-speeds. None of which can be achieved by shooting hand-held.
I remembered an old trick I've used in the past when I didn't have a tripod handy; use a lamp without the shade. The thread used in most lamps is a standard size and happens to match the thread and screw size of any tripod mount on the underside of most DSLRs. But dragging someone's lamp around the house and using it to photograph doesn't look too professional. So I had to think of something else.
As luck would have it I had my two umbrella stands with me to use with my two SB600 strobes. As I was assembling the umbrella stands I noticed that the screw and thread size looked like it could be a match for my tripod mount on my camera - voila! I tried it and it worked. It wasn't the best tripod but I looked less like a dork dragging my umbrella stand around with my DSLR mounted to the top of it.
I had to shoot the entire session with a single strobe - but it turned out OK and the client was happy with the results.