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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old August 12th, 2014, 07:20 AM   #31
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Re: Blocked Shots - Why can't we go up?

Thanks again Guys

Never short of suggestions here and much appreciated too. I'll take a look at C12 stands thanks Pete

Chris
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Old August 17th, 2014, 08:35 AM   #32
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Re: Blocked Shots - Why can't we go up?

Awesome Adrian

The research is most appreciated indeed. Yeah I looked at speaker stands and they would be a safer option than lighting stands. Of course the ideal setup would be a small jib let's say 3' in front and just 1' behind the pivot so the end of the boom wouldn't get in the way. Problem is that's simple to make with some bearings and aluminium tube BUT with such a short tail you are looking at a 3:1 ratio so a 3kg camera up front needs nearly 10kg to counterbalance on the backend which would be a bit of a pain to carry around but it's certainly feasible and one could also shoot at 5' to 6' and if the joint gets crowded all you need to do to do a gentle lift to get over the heads of the offenders. Trouble is if your DOF is a bit tight and you lose focus 8' up in the air you have a major issue unless you have remote controlled follow focus for the camera.

Apart from looking for ideas, I still always stick a GoPro on a lighting stand and run it thruout the ceremony and it has saved my bacon many times when some guest decides to stand in front of my tripod. Maybe the real answer is to get a bunch of helium balloons and let them take a go pro upwards. I have seen awesome outdoor wedding footage done that way!!

Chris
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Old August 19th, 2014, 06:18 AM   #33
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Re: Blocked Shots - Why can't we go up?

I still think that any sort of platform is going to be most unwelcome at a wedding.

Chris have you considered simply extending your existing tripods legs by attaching lengths of metal tubing? This is likely to be far more stable than an over-extended centre column or a tall light stand. You may be able to use legs cannibalised from an old tripod (would be good as would have the rubber feet on still), or unused boom poles (the photographic variety), or simply buy some tubing, cut it and spray it black with robust barbecue paint.

You would join the poles to the existing legs using these sort of clamps:

http://www.ashtonlamont.co.uk/images/dvi/tripod-01.jpg

These are boom arm clamps much used in studio lighting.

They may be particularly suitable as the two poles can be angled off to fit in awkward spaces:

http://www.ashtonlamont.co.uk/images/dvi/tripod-02.jpg

Or use Superclamps:

http://www.ashtonlamont.co.uk/images/dvi/tripod-03.jpg

You join two superclamps using a stud. There are two types of stud, one which enables the clamps to be joined flush as in the above photo like this:

http://www.ashtonlamont.co.uk/images/dvi/tripod-04.jpg

And another which offsets the two clamps and may not be as suitable. In both cases you can rotate the clamps to achieve the best angle.

The boom pole type of clamp looks more elegant but the two superclamps per leg would be quicker to set up and break down.

Pete
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Old August 19th, 2014, 09:02 AM   #34
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Re: Blocked Shots - Why can't we go up?

Thanks Pete

I was actually trying to keep the footprint smaller and by the simple addition of extender tubes to angled legs the footprint becomes massive and obtrusive as the leg geometrical pattern is a triangle so the longer the leg, the wider the base becomes whilst a riser under the tripod keeps the base footprint the same.

A crane is the obvious answer but then you have an issue with manual focus as it becomes out of reach to be practical so I killed that idea.

What would be awesome of course is a decent elevator that worked from the tripod centre bowl and just went straight up to gain height so the cam is still over the centre and a little aluminium step could be used to elevate oneself high enough to reach a manual lens. However one would need something somewhat more substantial than the silly little "tube with a gear" that you find on most cheap photo tripods. Now if I could find a decent, say 75mm diameter aluminium tube that would sit on the bowl and be able to be adjusted ..that would be fantastic

Wouldn't a really "super-fat" monopod about 3' high and really big tubing around 3" and 2.5" diameter be great that one could drop into a bowl receiver?? I don't think monopods go anywhere near that size but maybe some sort of stand could be cannibalised to get the extra adjustable 3' max height and be big enough diameter to be self supporting without wobbling!!!

I think I need to wander around my local hardware warehouse and see if I spot anything that might work?

Thanks to everyone who is submitting ideas .. we might just come up with something we can all use???

Chris
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Old August 19th, 2014, 10:56 AM   #35
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Re: Blocked Shots - Why can't we go up?

I was actually trying to keep the footprint smaller and by the simple addition of extender tubes to angled legs the footprint becomes massive and obtrusive as the leg geometrical pattern is a triangle so the longer the leg, the wider the base becomes

Thats not quite what I meant. You could just attach a tube to extend each leg but you would not necessarily increase the footprint because you could have a high narrow triangle rather than a high wide triangle if you see what I mean. The feet on the ends of the extension tubes would be in the same place as the original feet would have been, and the rig therefore taller and skinnier. Alternatively have extension tubes angled straight downwards instead of outwards. Both configurations ought to be far more stable than a lighstand or an over-long centre column.

If you are intent on having a long centre column you could use a tripod in the style of the Gitzo Explorer series in which the column is offset and removable. You'd remove it, put you tube of choice in its place, then reattach the original column to the new tube using clamps similar to those I linked to.

http://www.gitzo.co.uk/series-2-6x-explorer-3s-g-lock

My main tripod is a Gitzo Explorer but there are cheaper versions available from other manufacturers.

You'd still have the issue of how to control a cam whose function buttons etc are out of reach. But I think any sort of stand which elevates the operator is so attention grabbing as to be a non-starter.

Another option would be to use a small handycam with reliable auto functions instead of a beast :- )

Pete
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Old August 19th, 2014, 07:52 PM   #36
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Re: Blocked Shots - Why can't we go up?

Thanks Pete

I don't think that taking one step upwards is a big issue and you are pretty obvious even standing there whilst everyone is sitting. Besides they should be looking at the ceremony not the video guy.

Ok at this stage I have the following plan which looks like it might just work. I have a spare 75mm bowl tripod and can extend only the first set of legs (Libecs have the sorta 5 tube legs that inter-slide) so it's quite a stable base as it stands. I have a halogen lighting stand with fairly fat extendable columns (about 2" tube) The idea now is to split the half ball from the pan head and mount it on the end of the light stand tube so it has a vertical adjustment using the bowl...I'm only then using the biggest two sections of the stand and the pan head will go on top. The two columns now between the bowl and head are adjustable and provide elevation to a max camera height of about 7'6" which should clear people standing IF I need to BUT I can also drop it to a "normal" camera height with a twist of the column.

Will it work decently? I have no idea but I will make it up, test it and upload a few pics here too. Have to do a shoot first today sadly so it might be a tomorrow project.

Chris
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