You see the shot in your head. You know what you want.
It’s not always as easy as “put the tripod here”, or “hand hold it there”.
Balancing acts are never a good idea, and sometimes gaffers tape just can’t cure all ills and solve all problems.
We know. A bit disheartening. We love our gaffers tape.
When you really want to put the camera where you want it to be, you have to reach into the toolbox and figure it out.
And you have to be prepared with all kinds of solid, secure, attachments.
We had a great idea for a shot of a sink with hands washing up. Nice graphic, simple shot.
OK, great may be pushing it. Still wanted to shoot it.
The best way would be a downward shot.
But how to set the camera?
Sure , maybe a pole with a clamp, with a tripod mount, securely anchored…somewhere.
Shadows from the rig?
And then how do we know the shot is framed up right?
Well, we used a new tool in the toolbox.
A Fat Gekko, from Delkin.
Yep, that’s what it’s called.
A double suction cup, articulated arm, tripod screw mounting apparatus. It’s designed to hold a camera up to 8 lbs.
With this little beauty, we followed directions (crazy right?) attached the suction cups to the mirror in the proper configuration, and we were ready to attach the camera and frame the shot.
But…did this mean that we had to climb on the counter and do a live view or check through the viewfinder?
There was a better way.
As we are getting into shooting video with a DSLR, a sweet tool we are using, the SmallHD monitor, used for mainly focus on the video portion of our rig, had a brand new use in the world of still photography.
By cabling the monitor to the camera via an HDMI cable, we were able to see the framing, comfortably and large due to the screen size.
( we hadn’t adjusted the screen yet to cover the full DSLR LCD info here, but the image frame was accurate. And yes we did re-frame from what was posted above)
The SmallHD monitor is currently the only monitor of this size, delivering true 1280 HD picture. Well built housing, sleek accessories, and an excellent control panels, made this an obvious choice for video.
The fact that we could also use it for framing a still photograph when the camera was in an awkward position, was a huge bonus.
Plenty of demos we’ve seen for the Fat Gekko, showed the unit with a video camera attached to some part of a car: inside, outside, on the glass, by the wheel well, or on a boat, going through some pretty hairy maneuvers.
We may have been a bit more sedate, but it was about finding the right tool for the job.
And the Fat Gekko, coupled with the Smallhd monitor was the exact solution to out visual technical problem.
PLEASE REMEMBER!!! When using the Fat Gekko , you must secure the camera with additional apparatus, and assume all risk that may occur. Seriously, if you do not know that expensive gear should be secured twice, at the very least, you should not be attempting anything we’re talking about here.
The camera in the shot was also secured with the camera neck strap double looping through a crosspole . It’s what you don’t see at the top of the frame.
Always test the surface that your are attaching the suction cups to. Smooth is critical. Even frosted glass is not going to work.
OK, there is your disclaimer.
But this is a tool you have to add to your tool box, because you just never know where you may want to put that camera.
And the monitor may be have been initially intended for our video work, but it sure came in handy here.