Today’s delightfully random photo task involved shooting an angel and some astronauts, with clouds and a very nicely constructed rainbow sculpture (see comment below for details – thanks Melissa!) on quality fake astroturf. The brief was to get the camera high above everyone, and as dead-on as possible – which sort of precludes using a ladder (which we tried initially), because you get too much angle, and the shadow of yourself (AND the ladder) in the picture!
The solution – we dragged a lighting winch-up tree to the space, and attached a 3 metre aluminium pole to the t-bar at the top of it. Onto the pole, I clamped a manfrotto “superclamp” (so handy), and screwed the camera to the spigot on that, pointing the camera straight down. Being the wary fellow I am, I also safety-chained the camera (via its strap) to the pole.
To trigger the camera from below – previously I’d made a little cable that connects the pocket wizard radio flash trigger to the remote socket of an SLR – with a little switch so you can disable the autofocus if you wish! So, that was connected to the camera and hung from the pole also!! With all this set up, I was able to gleefully trigger the shutter from below, and probably up to a kilometre away (should that have been necessary)… Neato! The 10mm lens on the camera also made things a bit easier – it meant 4 metres of height was ample, and the depth of field would be nicely squished, so I could set the camera at f5.6 and have oodles of shutter speed to counter the slight swaying of the pole… I provide a self-potrait from the exercise, with me pressing the radio “go” button.