And even though these things are pretty straightforward and easy to use, Jay P. Morgan from The Slanted Lens has a few nifty tricks for setting up and using light stands that you may have never heard of.
In case you couldn't catch the video, here are the tips Morgan mentions:
- Don't use the bottom knob!
- Give your stand a nice, sturdy platform
- Line up your stand's legs with the angle of view
- Raise your stand from the top down
- If you loosen with only half a turn, you can tighten with only half a turn
These are great pieces of advice, but I will add just one more: use sandbags and gaffer tape for safety. Light stands look pretty innocuous by themselves, but once dressed with heavy, hot lights and loose, serpentine cables, they begin to look like 12-foot death traps. So, be sure to take proper safety precautions: tape down your cables to avoid trips and put sandbags (or something similar) over the legs if you can — if the incline is too steep, I put them in the center.
Source: The Slanted Lens