Stick in a Pot

stick in a pot
stick in a pot


My in-laws think that I can do anything. Just recently they had a problem with their oven and I replaced a burnt element. Where did you learn how to do that? My mother-in-law asked. I bet that it was from your daddy. I said well as a child I did watch my dad repair things and yes, he had replaced the element in our oven before. However, truth is that I don’t know how to do everything, and the real reason that I attempt so much is that I’m just too cheap to call someone else when I believe that I can do it myself. So I guess the same thing applies to photography.

I needed a couple of light stands. However, I have two problems. First, I can’t justify spending the money that they cost. Second, I don’t have the space that is required to spread the legs apart that are on the stand. I began searching the internet for some type of low cost solution and found a video by Jim Talkington on In the video Jim made what he calls a stick in a can. He used one of those large vegetable cans that contains enough green beans to feed an army and screws a stick inside it. Then he fills it with concrete. Great idea! However, Jim’s studio is in a warehouse I would guess. I didn’t want metal cans scratching anything. So I used plastic flower pots instead.


Cutting the soda can


Since the flower pot’s edge aren’t straight, I attached my stick to a soda can. First I trimmed a soda can.


soda can
Stick screwed to the soda can


Then I attached the stick to it and filled it with concrete before placing it inside the flowerpot.

Flower pots filled with concrete


Once I had it inside I also filled the flower pot with concrete.


Sticks leveled and braced

Afterwards, I cleaned the concrete from the stick and the pot and leveled the stick taping it to something that would brace it while the concrete cured.

I can’t wait to try them out! Do you have any neat ideas that you’ve heard of and would like to share?





16 thoughts on “Stick in a Pot

    1. That’s me, ole Cheapskate Burrow. 🙂 My parents used to say that things have a way of meaning more to you when you have to work for them. In the same way, creations have a deeper meaning to you when you have designed and built things such as this to use in the process.

  1. Sounds good to me! My “studio” consists of a nasty old end table that’s probably as old as I am, a $10 pole lamp from Walmart, and a black flat twin sheet. Here’s to the “work with what you’ve got” approach to photography! 😀

    1. I understand Eden, and there is nothing wrong with that. The lamp in the first picture, with the large blub, was actually used to hold a heat lamp for our turtle when my son was young. Another lamp not pictured, was purchased at a thrift store. I only wish that I could find a nice wide angle 2.8 lens there too! 🙂

  2. This is really handy man. Can you mail a couple of your light stands to me? I think it’s quite amazing how innovative you are. I certainly look forward to seeing the result after use.

    1. Let me see I used one 40 lb bag of concrete, and I made three stands. So that means that each stand weighs at least 13 lbs. So where should I send them Bergen or Seattle? 🙂 Thanks for the great comment.

  3. Great story! Especially the part about your inlaws thinking you can do anything – that sounds great! I wish I were handy, but it probably takes practice, interest, and a lot of talent.

    1. Thanks Caryn. I think you missed the part about me saying that I not. 🙂 Most of the time, I just end up doing things out of necessity.

  4. Nothing like some good old-fashion ingenuity, Phillip. Solving problems in this manner can often be a lot of fun. Nice work and lovely images.

    1. Thanks Jimi. I agree. It was a lot of fun and I don’t have to feel guilty about spending a lot of money on tools when I’m not using them.

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