Monday, February 12, 2007

Wheelchair Camera Mount

(By Ralph Raymond, Melbourne Beach, FL)

I looked all over the internet for any information about photography equipment for a person in a wheelchair. Much to my dismay, and surprise, there was next to nothing about which kinds of cameras a C6 quadriplegic could use.

There were so many things to consider..Digital Point and Shoot or SLR? How to hold the camera without hands that work? How to push the shutter button without fingers that work? I was really dissapointed at the lack of available information, so I went to a camera shop in Tampa to see what I could find out.

The first obstacle was getting past my inability to hold the camera. A company named Manfrotto makes a great product called the "Variable Friction Arm." This arm is a sectional, articulating monopod that will attach to any tube from .5" to 2.1" inches in diameter. The monopod gets clamped to the wheelchair and the camera is screwed into the bracket, hands free and very secure.

With the problem of physically holding the camera now solved I had to decide which camera to buy, and how to operate it. I knew it had to be a digital camera, but didn't know which camera would be the easiest to operate. Canon's EOS Digital Rebel is a full function 6.2 MP that can be operated via a wired or wireless remote for the shutter functions. I have enough hand/arm mobility to turn the zoom ring and by holding the wired remote in my teeth I take the picture.

1 comment:

Spinal Cracker said...

Great blog. I'm a videographer and use a wheelchair. Adaptive mounting devices and stabilization is critical when capturing solid images. Thank you! I'm purchasing this arm for an upcoming Burning Man shoot.