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A Very Peculiar DIY “Hip-Neck Mount” Camera Extension

Check out this wacky “above the crowd” camera rig spotted at the royal wedding. What IS this thing?

My friend Travis is an awesome guy and a talented photographer. He’s the type of guy that I admire for finding life curious and fascinating. Case in point: an email he sent this weekend about the photos from the royal wedding, not of the newlyweds, but of the crowd that gathered to watch the event.

flickr had a post this morning with the official royal wedding photos. while i don’t care about the wedding, i was interested in seeing the photos and what they were like. looked few a through. flickr pointed out one large, overhead crowd shot. it was like a “where’s waldo” illustration. flickr also recommended to view the photo at the original size. it was pretty cool to drill into the photo and see people’s details. i noticed one guy with a crazy camera contraption so he could shoot over the crowd. i thought it was pretty genius. hence this email. thanks for playing.

Here’s a link to the full size image.

An impressive gathering, no doubt – but the “above the crowd” camera extension Travis spotted really piqued my curiosity. What exactly is that thing? And how can I make my own on the cheap?

Looking closely, it appears to be a long extension pole/monopod with an adjustable head (this one fits the bill, only costs $22). A leash/nylon strapping connects to the top of the pole; the bottom of the leash straps around this inventive photographer’s neck (it appears the neck segment has padding of some sort).  Buckles adjust the length of the strap to control the angle/height of the pole.

I’d love to see the base of the extension pole. A flag-pole holster would work well to help keep things stable.

Maybe most importantly, triggering the camera. A wired remote for the shutter release? Or, perhaps easier, an IR remote (I recently got this $10 remote for my Nikon – and I love it), although I imagine there might be interference issues with a crowd that size.

A shame that this photographer is anonymous – I’d like to chat about his setup, and see the resulting photos he took. Regardless, I might try to build one of these things for kicks too.