Monday, June 2, 2008
DIY Ground Pod
Over the years I have struggled with macro photography. One of my main difficulties is getting down lowwwww. I have reversed the centerpost, layed the tripod on its side and used a bean bag or a jacket. Probably the best thing is a Benbo tripod. My friend Joe Benoit has one and it is superb for getting down to the ground. By the way he is an excellent photographer. So if you are Joe Dough go out and buy one. My wife would kill me if I bought another tripod. Bean bags get wet and aren't very adjustable. The commercial ones come with a 1/4 '' mounting screw on top and you have to spin the bag to attach it to your camera. They are also hard to get into position and maintain good focus. So what is a Cheapo solution that works well. To be honest this solution isn't the cheapest but it was for me. I happened to have an old Bogen ballhead lying around from a long dead tripod. I drilled and mounted it to a piece of scrap 1" x 12" with a carriage bolt and then epoxied the bolt in place. Voila! A new Ground Pod is born. It is light and easy to carry with a camera mounted on it. I can easily switch from horizontals to verticals. (try that with a commercial bean bag pod) It is easy to slide back and forth for critical focus.
Overall I am very pleased with how manueverable the ballhead makes it work. The only modification I possibly might make to it would be to add a focusing rail to it for doing below 1:1 macro work. The sample photos are all taken with this Ground Pod.
Keep shooting and God bless all of you,