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.

12 comments:

Quadtographer said...

Loren, my name is Bob Scott and I'm a C6 complete. As it turns out I'm form news videographer so I know what it's like to want to hit the streets to get a story. Now though I'm aiming my lens towards wildlife photography. I have a "QuadPod" of my own. I'm going to post photos of it on my blog as soon as I have some work completed on it. Are you able to attach and dettach it from your chair by yourself? I'm interested in comparing notes on accesibilty issues you my face at parks and refuges.

Kristen said...

Hi--

I've been reading your blog looking for some answers for a film/photography student I'm working with as an assistive technology specialist. This student has muscular dystrophy and is unable to lift his arms. He needs a way to mount both a camera and video camera to his wheelchair(not at the same time). I'm trying to figure a way for him to be able to do as much independently as possible. I don't think he'd be able to move this mount on his own...wondering if you have any thoughts? Thanks on behalf of both of us!

Loren_Worthington said...

Kristen,
I am really impressed with the mount'n mover from BlueSky. Its a very good product. I made an adapter plate to allow my camera to mount on a typ 3/8" stud. It's not cheap, but I trust it to mount some expensive equipment atop and its proven very effective.

Quadtographer said...

Hey Loren. Bob Scott again. Thanks for putting me on your list of"Quadtogs". I'd still like to pick your brain about your photography. Quadtographer@lcisp.com I hope I'm not flooding you with e-mails.

Jim said...

Loren, I'm a t-12 para and looking for a camera mount. The Mount'n Mover is impressive but is a little steep in price. Do you know of an alternative that is less expensive? I also noticed you were using a 1.7x converter. How does a converter affect image quality and the effective f-stop.

Loren_Worthington said...

Jim, yep its expensive. But when I add up the value of the camera and lens it's supporting, I justify the investment. It really does insure the camera stays in good shape and I get the shots. Shoot me your e-mail 'cuz I'll elaborate on a new mono-pod I'm kicking around.

The 1.7x doesnt reduce the quality of the image one bit. Still very sharp when used with my f/2.8 70-200mm. What you do lose is light. The 1.7x takes a stop away, and I end up with a f/4.0 340mm lens. So in low light, its not very good for anything moving. But its great elsewise. Check ou my 340mm shots from the Desert Challenge at www.wheelchairphotography.com

Djordje said...

Hello Loren,

Informations on this site are precious, especially how you managed Mount'n Mover for your needs as holder for camera.

I'm c4-c5 quad and love photography, but old story, it's impossible to hold camera in my hands.
Few years earlyer I was using my old Canon A70 attached to tripod and connected to long usb cable with remote capture software. This 'setup' works for me, but only when I shoot static objects or persons.
I found your site accidentally, and it was total revelation for me when I saw your blog 'Camera Mount for Wheelchair Photography'. Now I'm couraged again to think and take camera out from my closet. :)

Now I have Olympus E-510, but it's a shame that Olympus Studio software don't have live preview option. It would be much easyer for me to shoot sometimes with laptop.

I'm constantly looking solutions for easyer handling digital cameras.


Anyway, when I buy Mount'n Mover, I'm sure it will be new world opened for me.



Thank you and take care :)

Loren_Worthington said...

Djordje,
Yep old post but I still use same set up. I wish I had new tech to discuss but there just nothing out there.

Anonymous said...

Loren,
I have ALS and extreme loss of strength and movement in my arms and shoulders, so much that I can't even hold my camera without it dropping out of my hands.

Do you have any knowledge or experience with this setup from Manfrotto?

http://www.amazon.com/Bogen-Manfrotto-Variable-Friction-Platform/dp/B00009R6BW/ref=pd_bxgy_e_img_b

Chas in Mew Mexico

beekers said...

Hi
My name is Becky and I am working with an outdoor adaptive program through my university. Lately we've been looking for a remote focus or zoom technology for those who have limited or no use of their arms. I found some really great pan tilt heads but I seem to be coming up short in the zoom area. If you have any ideas I would be glad to hear them!
thanks
Becky

gentrier said...

Anyone telco me if there is a cheaper alternative OR exactly what options u ave purchased from Broaden horizons? I'm looking to use it with a Canon Mark Three

gentrier said...

Can you please tell me if there is now a cheaper alternative… Or exactly which set you purchased from broaden horizons? I'm looking to use it with a Canon Mark three. Any information as soon as possible is very appreciated.