Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Camera Mount for Wheelchair Photography

I have been learning and enjoying photography for four years. As my skills have grown, so too has my investment in bigger and better camera equipment. Most serious photographers have a tripod, but tripods aren't easy to use or haul around when you are sitting in a wheelchair. Recently, however I tested the Mount'n Mover mounting system as the base for a wheelchair-mounted tripod and found it greatly improved my photography.

The Mount'n Mover is a very clever new system designed by Bluesky Designs. It is designed for all types of applications and in my case, I added a Jobu gimbal head and now have a pretty slick mobile tripod for my cameras. The arm mounts to any wheelchair using a universal adapter plate. With two 360 degree rotating arms, I can swing the camera into just about any angle I need. Combined with the gimbal head, panning sports action very fluid and steady. As well, wildlife photography, which require patients, is much easier. My new 'quadpod' offers advantages that even an able-bodied shooter would envy.

The Mount'n Mover is designed to support 15 lbs. I tested the arm with a Nikon D300, a Nikon 70-200mm lens, a 1.7x converter and the gimbal head. I calculate the combination weighs a total of 6 lbs, and the fully extended arm easily holds the load. One feature of the arm that makes it very functional is the ability to easily lock the two arms into various angles and hold. With the click of the lever, you can release the setting and adjust arm.

With the Mount'n Mover, I have turned my wheelchair into a rolling tripod. I can now focus my efforts on taking photos, and not be so concerned with holding the camera steady.

Update: Mount'n Mover is now being distributed by Mark Felling and Broadened Horizons. Mark has all kinds of cool tools and bitch'n gadgets for the active gimp.