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Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberThu 13-Mar-14 02:59 AM
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"Pole Photography"


Philadelphia, US
          

Recently, I've begun to look into "Pole Photography," which is simply put, putting your DSLR up on a pole, at least 15-25 feet (4.6-7.6 meters) up in the air, to get a different point of view for travel shots, sports shots, and news shots in particular, for me. From what I understand, many who take photos for the real estate industry use pole photography.

I've also read that some of these poles are quite high, some reaching 50-60 feet (15-18 meters) which are anchored to a pickup truck, for example.

Some people are using painter's poles, and some are using expensive poles made specifically for this kind of photography, such as the "Magic Pole," "Photomast," "Wonder Pole," and "Pole Pixie," which can range in prices from about $300 to $3,000. (I'm not interested in the $3,000 variety.

I've searched on Nikonians and can't find anything about this genre.

I'm interested in getting somewhere between 20-25 feet (6-7.6 meters) up with a D4 or D800 with grip (In other words a heavy DSLR). I'm wondering if any of you have experience with this kind of photography, and can especially help me with a pole purchase recommendation. I have many of the other pieces figured out, such as remotely controlling the camera wirelessly.

If you have personal experience that would be fabulous to hear about, especially if you have recommendations for purchasing and/or for more resources for me to learn about this kind of photography.

Thanks.

Ned
A Nikonians Team Member

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kentak Silver Member
13th Mar 2014
1
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13th Mar 2014
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13th Mar 2014
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13th Mar 2014
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13th Mar 2014
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13th Mar 2014
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13th Mar 2014
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13th Mar 2014
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tekneektom Gold Member
13th Mar 2014
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13th Mar 2014
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13th Mar 2014
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13th Mar 2014
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kentak Silver Member Nikonian since 03rd Jul 2010Thu 13-Mar-14 03:13 AM
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#1. "RE: Pole Photography"
In response to Reply # 0
Thu 13-Mar-14 03:17 AM by kentak

US
          

No experience with it, but sounds like a great way to get different perspectives.

I would think something like a collapsable painter's pole would work. They are sturdy and lightweight. You'd have to rig up something on the business end to attach the camera, but that shouldn't be too daunting.

Here's one I found quickly at Home Depot:

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Unger-8-ft-20-ft-Telescopic-Pole-Aluminum-3-Stage-with-Connect-and-Clean-Locking-Cone-and-PRO-Locking-Collar-962780/203177326

And another:

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Mr-Longarm-Pro-Lok-23-ft-Adjustable-3-Section-Extension-Pole-2324/100177392

Kent

  

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Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberThu 13-Mar-14 01:14 PM
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#3. "RE: Pole Photography"
In response to Reply # 1


Philadelphia, US
          

Thanks Kent. So far, I've found the paint poles are too flexible when you go past about 15 feet, but I can look again. I agree that attaching a ball head to the top shouldn't be too difficult.

Ned
A Nikonians Team Member

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Visit my Travel Photography Blog and my Galleries.

  

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ZoneV Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Jan 2005Thu 13-Mar-14 03:16 AM
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#2. "RE: Pole Photography"
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

Ned,

I did this with a monopod but it was too short.

What I did, was to tape my remote control to the bottom of it.

Mike Hagen has an article on NR.com on this very topic. You may wish to email him.

An undeniable paradox: To think that there is any such thing as an absolute rule is at worst naïve, and at best, shortsighted. There is no such thing as an always-true, all context- or situation-salient, absolute rule that always holds true…including this one!

  

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Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberThu 13-Mar-14 01:23 PM
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#4. "RE: Pole Photography"
In response to Reply # 2


Philadelphia, US
          

Thanks Al. I agree, a monopod is too short. I found the article of which you spoke, and Mike says that there too.

I'm definitely looking to go about 20-25 feet, as I think that will generally give me the perspective I need for the concepts I have in mind. I'm set with a remote via the CamRanger which creates a WIFI connection with my cameras that enable me to run the camera through my iPhone or iPad. I can see what the camera sees, focus, remotely shoot, etc., all through my iDevices. I've been using it for remote shooting wildlife with my camera/lens on a tripod when trying to get some very timid creatures photographed, and for macro photography where I wish to focus stack. I'm going to be using it for some time lapse work later.

Your suggest to contact Mike is a great idea. I'll do that later today. I'm sure, however, that there are some Nikonians out there with experience in this kind of photography and I hope they'll chime in with ideas.

Ned
A Nikonians Team Member

-----------------------------
Visit my Travel Photography Blog and my Galleries.

  

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Dgastrong Gold Member Nikonian since 09th Oct 2012Thu 13-Mar-14 01:35 PM
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#5. "RE: Pole Photography"
In response to Reply # 4


Sonoita, US
          

Ned. I did this with a wildlife camera to get high into a tree for bird nesting images. My pole was 24 feet long and consisted of " top rail " pipe used in chain link fencing. The sections of pipe are 8 ft long and are flared or belled at one end so that they will fit together. They are strong (galvanized steel) and the sections can be secured together with small sheet metal screws so they don't come apart by accident. The mounting for the camera required a little fabrication but was not hard. The largest disadvantage was weight. It was best handled by two people when elevating it into position. Once there I secured it with tie-downs attached to a tree or building to keep it stable.
Good luck!
Dale

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberThu 13-Mar-14 01:55 PM
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#6. "RE: Pole Photography"
In response to Reply # 5


Philadelphia, US
          

Thanks Dale. That rig certainly will be stable and not flex. I'll consider it, but I would prefer something more portable. Of course, that will likely mean a trade-off between weight and flex. I'm hoping someone might know of a pole design which minimizes flex, yet is more portable than pipe, even "light weight" pipe.

Thanks again.

Ned
A Nikonians Team Member

-----------------------------
Visit my Travel Photography Blog and my Galleries.

  

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Dgastrong Gold Member Nikonian since 09th Oct 2012Thu 13-Mar-14 02:49 PM
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#8. "RE: Pole Photography"
In response to Reply # 6


Sonoita, US
          

The power company was out this way a few weeks ago to reset a fuse at the top of a power pole. They used a fiberglass pole about 30 feet long that telescoped from less than 8 feet to the max length. In thinking about my wildlife camera pole and my recommendation to you I'm worried now about the metal and it being a electrical conductor. If a person were too close to a power line and lose control of the pole ..... well, not a pretty sight.

You may be able to search for a pole with that kind of application. Probably expensive.

Anyway here is a link that may help for another type of extension pole, however I suspect you have already seen this link

http://www.amazon.com/Longarm-6-18Alumglas-6618-Extension-Poles/dp/B000C0144E

Good luck Ned!
Dale

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberThu 13-Mar-14 04:47 PM
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#10. "RE: Pole Photography"
In response to Reply # 8


Philadelphia, US
          

Thanks Dale. I think your comment about the pole and power makes a great deal of sense. I don't intend to get near power lines, but I do want to use it from some travel photography types of shots, so you never know.

I have seen the product at the link at Amazon. A pole like that isn't going to work. It doesn't have enough stability. Some of the comments about the pole indicated that just with a paint roller it was quite wobbly.

Ned
A Nikonians Team Member

-----------------------------
Visit my Travel Photography Blog and my Galleries.

  

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tekneektom Gold Member Nikonian since 18th Nov 2011Thu 13-Mar-14 02:30 PM
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#7. "RE: Pole Photography"
In response to Reply # 0


Land O Lakes, US
          

Ned,

You might consider contacting one of the pole saw manufacturers, such as stihl and inquire about purchase of pole - strong, collapsible and intended off working at height. Could be an entrepreneurial opportunity "Altitude Imaging"

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberThu 13-Mar-14 04:42 PM
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#9. "RE: Pole Photography"
In response to Reply # 7


Philadelphia, US
          

Wow, "Altitude Imaging." What a great term. I love it. I'm going to use it at some point in the future as a journalist, I'm sure. It's saved in my memory banks.

That's an interesting idea to check out pole saw manufacturers Tom. Thanks.

I think I'm beginning to zero in on the concept that the pole will rest its weight on the ground, and that maybe a base would be good to have with it, to help steady it, or certainly, potentially, a spike in the bottom to use when on grass or dirt.

Ned
A Nikonians Team Member

-----------------------------
Visit my Travel Photography Blog and my Galleries.

  

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jbloom Gold Member Awarded for the continuous and generous sharing of his high level expertise and his always encouraging comments in several forums. Nikonian since 15th Jul 2004Thu 13-Mar-14 05:27 PM
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#11. "RE: Pole Photography"
In response to Reply # 0


Wethersfield, US
          

I have no experience with them, but I ran across this:

http://www.excelsails.com/telescopingextensionpoles.htm

-- Jon
Wethersfield, CT, USA
Connecticut High School Sports Photos

  

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Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberThu 13-Mar-14 05:48 PM
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#12. "RE: Pole Photography"
In response to Reply # 11


Philadelphia, US
          

Thanks Jon. I'll check them out and find out if their poles are possibility. Thanks. I hadn't run across this company.

Ned
A Nikonians Team Member

-----------------------------
Visit my Travel Photography Blog and my Galleries.

  

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Omaha Registered since 07th Jan 2012Thu 13-Mar-14 06:15 PM
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#13. "RE: Pole Photography"
In response to Reply # 0


Omaha, US
          

No experience in it, but I wanted to chime in and say it sounds marvelous. I love getting different perspectives in photos, and this one sounds like a winner.

Visit my Nikonians gallery
Most of my Nikon photos end up here.

  

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Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberThu 13-Mar-14 07:05 PM
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#15. "RE: Pole Photography"
In response to Reply # 13


Philadelphia, US
          

You took the words right out of my mouth Jeff. That's why I'm investigating this.

I started thinking about this, having worked a number of parades in the last few years as a member of the press. I took some crowd shots, by climbing up on street lamp poles, some large urban flower pots, etc. and held the camera as high in the air as I could, giving it my best shot aiming it. I really liked the different perspective, but wanted to be higher, yet I kept the idea on the back burner.

Then watching the Olympics I was intrigued by some of the overhead shots from towers built for that purpose which gave more of an aerial view than my own shots. Then I started reading about these DSLR drone kits which have been appearing on the Internet, which put my thinking on the front burner.

That said, I have no idea how much I'm going to do this and how it actually fits in with what I do, so I've got to keep this within some kind of reasonable budget, and I'm not really up for flying drones around for close to $4,000 for a kit.

I think some kind of pole setup will work for me at this time, but the pole is where I have most of my qualms and questions. There are a few companies selling poles specifically for aerial pole photography, but I'm not yet sold on their wares, and with my complete lack of experience in this area of photography, I'm approaching any purchase even more cautiously than normal. I don't purchase anything easily, and do lots of research first.

The pole itself needs to be light enough to move around and use. It has to be small enough to fit in my vehicle. It has to be inflexible enough to work well by holding the camera without wobble, as between me and the wind there will be plenty of movement, I'm sure. It can't be too flashy or it can't be used for wildlife photography. I want to keep the color of the pole black, or gray, something dull and neutral.

So I'm trying to figure this out and appreciate the suggestions and help I've gotten so far.

Ned
A Nikonians Team Member

-----------------------------
Visit my Travel Photography Blog and my Galleries.

  

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jbloom Gold Member Awarded for the continuous and generous sharing of his high level expertise and his always encouraging comments in several forums. Nikonian since 15th Jul 2004Thu 13-Mar-14 09:24 PM
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#17. "RE: Pole Photography"
In response to Reply # 15


Wethersfield, US
          

>That said, I have no idea how much I'm going to do this and
>how it actually fits in with what I do, so I've got to keep
>this within some kind of reasonable budget, and I'm not really
>up for flying drones around for close to $4,000 for a kit.

Plus there is this sort of problem with drones.

-- Jon
Wethersfield, CT, USA
Connecticut High School Sports Photos

  

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Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberThu 13-Mar-14 10:24 PM
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#18. "RE: Pole Photography"
In response to Reply # 17


Philadelphia, US
          

Police harassment is a problem for photographers from time to time, especially for press photographers covering police activity. I've unfortunately had to deal with the police more than once while on the job, and I've been threatened with arrest by police several times due to those incidents.

I want to keep our discussion in this thread on target, but I will mention that while the FAA has insisted that since 2007 when they promulgated some rules, that using drones for commercial purposes is illegal, they haven't actually enforced their "supposed" regulations evenly (since 2007 they have only cited 12 violations of the rules via letter to the accused order them to desist flying the drones, and have given a few verbal warnings to others and only tried to fine 1 person in all that time) which has caused them all kinds of problems since the law requires everyone to be treated equally under the law.

Now the FAA has a new problem with their drone regulations. Last week, Judge Patrick Geraghty, a Federal administrative law judge who deals in US aviation law, ruled that the FAA's regulations prohibiting commercial use of drones in the US is unconstitutional, so that right now, there are no applicable regulations or laws governing commercial use of drones in the skies of the US.

I would add that members of Congress are hopping mad about this as it's been more than 2 years since they told the FAA to create a reasonable set of drone regulations to make commercial use of drones legal, but safely controlled, and set to not permit invasions of privacy.

It is also very hazy as to whether any local police officer can enforce or attempt to enforce a non-criminal Federal regulation promulgated by an agency of the Federal government. And of course, now there is no regulation to enforce.

So...back to pole photography.

Ned
A Nikonians Team Member

-----------------------------
Visit my Travel Photography Blog and my Galleries.

  

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hogvee Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Aug 2008Thu 13-Mar-14 06:26 PM
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#14. "RE: Pole Photography"
In response to Reply # 0


St. Asaph, GB
          

Hi Ned, Have you thought of using industrial standard galvanised metal rods which are about 6 feet long and are threaded at both ends, you join them by using female threaded connectors. These are normally used by electrical contractors fro external wiring on properties. They would be easily extended to any height, and equally easily taken apart for transportation. Good luck.

Alan

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Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberThu 13-Mar-14 07:19 PM
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#16. "RE: Pole Photography"
In response to Reply # 14


Philadelphia, US
          

Thanks Alan. Actually, I hadn't really thought about going in that direction, due to flex problems on thin ones, and weight problems if heavy duty ones are used.

I've been thinking more of aluminum, or fiberglass tubes mostly, though carbon fiber tubes might be good if not frightfully expensive. The pole must be able to let me put in a mount at the top for a ball head of some kind for a DSLR/lens. I don't think the rods would be good, on first consideration anyway at accomplishing that well, but I could be mistaken.

I was also thinking of a hex cross-section which I've seen in some poles, as that cross-section would help in stiffness without adding lots of extra weight to the pole.

I appreciate everyone's suggestions. Even if they end up being not quite what I want, they can foster a direction or idea, which will be highly productive and get me the knowledge I need to get this off the ground (no pun intended).

Ned
A Nikonians Team Member

-----------------------------
Visit my Travel Photography Blog and my Galleries.

  

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laddad Gold Member Nikonian since 14th Nov 2005Thu 13-Mar-14 11:06 PM
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#19. "RE: Pole Photography"
In response to Reply # 0


Kinston, NC, US
          

The Nodal Ninja folks make the best panoramic equipment available! They specialize in equipment to make 360 by 180 Degree Panoramas (VR Photography, Spherical Panoramas). They make and sell the stuff you are looking. All of their equipment is of the highest quality.

www.nodalninja.com

  

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Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberFri 14-Mar-14 12:16 AM
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#21. "RE: Pole Photography"
In response to Reply # 19


Philadelphia, US
          

Thanks Laddie. Have you had any personal experience with their poles?

I've put them on my list of possibilities.

Ned
A Nikonians Team Member

-----------------------------
Visit my Travel Photography Blog and my Galleries.

  

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laddad Gold Member Nikonian since 14th Nov 2005Sat 15-Mar-14 01:26 AM
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#31. "RE: Pole Photography"
In response to Reply # 21


Kinston, NC, US
          

I have not tried the poles "yet" but thinking about them. I have purchased two of their spherical panoramic heads in the past. They are great folks to deal with. If you questions just call them!

  

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Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberSat 15-Mar-14 01:48 AM
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#32. "RE: Pole Photography"
In response to Reply # 31


Philadelphia, US
          

Thanks again. I'll likely do that.

Ned
A Nikonians Team Member

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Visit my Travel Photography Blog and my Galleries.

  

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billg71 Gold Member Nikonian since 15th Aug 2006Thu 13-Mar-14 11:49 PM
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#20. "RE: Pole Photography"
In response to Reply # 0
Thu 13-Mar-14 11:51 PM by billg71

Acworth, US
          

Ned,

Interesting concept, never really thought of it but interesting nonetheless.

Maybe an electrical hot stick, they're made of fiberglass, they telescope and come in various extensible lengths. It'll have a brass head with a short hook and will take a little fabbing to mate the camera(drilling and tapping a hole in the end, adding a 1/4-20 stud) but should fit your needs. Not nearly as sturdy as a steel pipe but it won't take 3 people to carry it either. But no worries shooting in a lightning storm.

Used to use them years ago when I worked with an electrical utility for disconnecting high-voltage switches at the top of a pole. Haven't really thought about it until your post reminded me.

Thanks for the memories,HTH.

Best,
Bill

Georgia Nature Photographers Association

  

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Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberFri 14-Mar-14 12:20 AM
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#22. "RE: Pole Photography"
In response to Reply # 20


Philadelphia, US
          

Thank you Bill. I'll look into them and see if they can be easily modified, but a quick look at them would seem to indicate they would be on the short side for this use, as they all seem to be about 8-12 feet long at most.

Ned
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boblin Silver Member Nikonian since 30th Jun 2010Fri 14-Mar-14 04:18 AM
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#23. "RE: Pole Photography"
In response to Reply # 22


Lincoln, US
          

You might look into chimney cleaning brush rods. They are fiberglass, male thread on one end and female thread on other end for connecting rods. I don't know how you could purchase the number of rods you may need. You may have to buy several kits and not sure how steady these would be as height increases.

  

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Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberFri 14-Mar-14 05:09 AM
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#24. "RE: Pole Photography"
In response to Reply # 23


Philadelphia, US
          

Thanks Bob, but unfortunately, these rods can't support the weight of the camera/lens I want to use, plus ball head, and remote equipment safely.

Ned
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HHargitt Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Jan 2010Fri 14-Mar-14 02:45 PM
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#25. "RE: Pole Photography"
In response to Reply # 0


Maple Ridge, CA
          

This is not an endorsement for or recommendation of, and I have no experience with this company but I had been thinking along these line until drones started to appear on the market.

http://www.mgs4u.com/fiberglass-push-up-mast.htm#telescoping

Happy shooting from up high,

Howard

Will shoot for fame...fun...food... a heck I'll shoot anytime anywhere.

  

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Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberFri 14-Mar-14 02:56 PM
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#26. "RE: Pole Photography"
In response to Reply # 25


Philadelphia, US
          

Thanks for the link Howard. These look very interesting and might be the way to go.

Ned
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AMusingFool Silver Member Nikonian since 30th Dec 2012Fri 14-Mar-14 08:38 PM
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#27. "RE: Pole Photography"
In response to Reply # 0


Arlington, US
          

I've done some of this, mostly not quite as high up as you're considering (I've used a long painter's pole with a pole pixie and monopod head for holding the camera).

In good light, you should be able to get shutter speeds up high enough that the painter's pole will do the trick, although it's mighty awkward to handle at that height (20-22' is as high as I've gotten, and that did require a bit of rotational tweaking in post, but otherwise was ok. Here are a couple shots taken that way).

I'm curious about the nodal ninja, as mentioned elsewhere, as they seem to be good, but I don't have experience with them either.

What I do wonder about is how you're going to be holding the pole. If you're going to be hand-holding, I don't think you're going to find the Camranger usable. I've only been able to take shots with a small, one-button remote while hand-holding, personally. Although thinking about it, I suppose if the pole is tall enough to rest on the ground, it might work. If so, Camranger does make a movable head that might work directly from the pole pixie (+- 15deg only, vertically, though).

Good luck, though.

"Geeks of All Nations, Compile!"
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Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberFri 14-Mar-14 10:15 PM
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#28. "RE: Pole Photography"
In response to Reply # 27


Philadelphia, US
          

Hey David, thanks.

I'm looking at the Pole Pixie poles among others.

Part of the reason I'm looking at a pole from 20-25 feet is so the bottom of the pole will be on the ground. I don't want to have to hold it up high in the air, with the bottom off the ground, as I don't think I'm going to be able to hold it that high and keep it reasonably steady.

With the pole on the ground, I think I can hold it steady and use the CamRanger on an iPad, attached to the pole, as my remote. I have the CamRanger controlled motorized head and am considering using it, in this setup.

I too find the Nodal Ninja very interesting, though I'm a little put off by the price, and not knowing how much of this kind of photography I'll be doing.

Ned
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ajdooley Silver Member Nikonian since 25th May 2006Fri 14-Mar-14 11:12 PM
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#29. "RE: Pole Photography"
In response to Reply # 0


Waterloo, US
          

Ned - From time to time, I see elevator shoes in magazines. They reportedly make you 4 inches taller. It's not 25 feet -- but it's a start! Sorry... I had to say this.

Alan
Waterloo, IL, USA
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Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberSat 15-Mar-14 12:17 AM
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#30. "RE: Pole Photography"
In response to Reply # 29


Philadelphia, US
          

Alan, I've had a horrible migraine all day, and I've had to work through it, because I was on deadline for a couple of travel companies for which I write articles, and I had to get a blog article out about the Calumet bankruptcy, so...I've got to say, I love your post. It brought a huge grin to my face, and I appreciate it.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Ned
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ZoneV Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Jan 2005Sat 15-Mar-14 02:34 AM
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#33. "RE: Pole Photography"
In response to Reply # 0
Sat 15-Mar-14 02:36 AM by ZoneV

US
          

Ned,

How do you plan to secure your iPad to the pole or otherwise hold the iPad and have it in a position to view the live feed? Also, where will your camera controls be located and how will you operate them ergonomically and effectively?

An undeniable paradox: To think that there is any such thing as an absolute rule is at worst naïve, and at best, shortsighted. There is no such thing as an always-true, all context- or situation-salient, absolute rule that always holds true…including this one!

  

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Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberSat 15-Mar-14 03:45 AM
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#35. "RE: Pole Photography"
In response to Reply # 33


Philadelphia, US
          

Hi Al,

Tether tools has a clamp and an iPad holder/case which seems perfect to attach the iPad to a pole. The camera controls are all controlled via the CamRanger app on the iPad. It's all done wirelessly. I've used this to control my D4 and D800 when on a tripod a number of times.

Ned
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ZoneV Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Jan 2005Sat 15-Mar-14 04:04 AM
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#37. "RE: Pole Photography"
In response to Reply # 35


US
          

>Hi Al,
>
>Tether tools has a clamp and an iPad holder/case which seems
>perfect to attach the iPad to a pole. The camera controls are
>all controlled via the CamRanger app on the iPad. It's all
>done wirelessly. I've used this to control my D4 and D800 when
>on a tripod a number of times.

Sounds cool. Please post a picture when you eventually rig it up!

An undeniable paradox: To think that there is any such thing as an absolute rule is at worst naïve, and at best, shortsighted. There is no such thing as an always-true, all context- or situation-salient, absolute rule that always holds true…including this one!

  

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Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberSat 15-Mar-14 11:06 AM
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#38. "RE: Pole Photography"
In response to Reply # 37


Philadelphia, US
          

Will do.

Ned
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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Sat 15-Mar-14 02:51 AM
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#34. "RE: Pole Photography"
In response to Reply # 0


Richmond, US
          

Ned, you might want to have a look at http://luksa.com/telescoping-antenna-masts-tripods.aspx

They appear to have one that can do 25 feet for about $1500. These folks have been offering things like this for at least 5 years or so. I saw one of them at a trade show up in Washington back in 2009 or 2010. They looked beefier in person than they appear in these photos, in fact they seemed to me more like medium-sized trees. I clearly remember that I wasn't wondering why they were expensive.

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Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberSat 15-Mar-14 03:47 AM
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#36. "RE: Pole Photography"
In response to Reply # 34
Sat 15-Mar-14 03:48 AM by Ned_L

Philadelphia, US
          

Thank you Brian. They are now definitely on my list to investigate. I hadn't found them in my own search.

Ned
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limeyzen Silver Member Nikonian since 27th Aug 2011Sat 15-Mar-14 11:40 AM
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#39. "RE: Pole Photography"
In response to Reply # 36


Waynesville, US
          

Ned, no personal experience but not seeing this here thought I would add it. Have you thought about/looked into using plastic electrical or plumbing piping? Any big box store will carry a wide range of diameters and lengths and it's relatively easy to cement male and female threaded couplings to it to make extendable poles. One can also get larger circular fittings that could form a "foot". I have no idea what the flex might be over the length you are thinking of but the experiment would be cheap and not that time consumin

Geoff

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Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberSat 15-Mar-14 12:03 PM
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#40. "RE: Pole Photography"
In response to Reply # 39


Philadelphia, US
          

Thanks Geoff. I did think of this. The plastic piping would have to be fairly substantial as the smaller diameters aren't very stiff. Putting it together would be easy, but the locks to not let the poles slide would have to be devised, but I think I know how to do that. Color may be a problem, as these generally come in white or other bright colors which would not be good with wildlife, and paint doesn't stick well to these pipes, but it's worth checking out.

Ned
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limeyzen Silver Member Nikonian since 27th Aug 2011Sun 16-Mar-14 03:16 PM
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#45. "RE: Pole Photography"
In response to Reply # 40


Waynesville, US
          

Ned, re color I have seen (and used for running surface electrical wire) this in a darkish grey color however my experience goes only to the 3/4 inch I/D which is certainly too flexible. I was thinking of something in the 1 1/2 inch range and constructed so that the ends screwed together not a sliding mechanism (if I understand you). But it sounds as though that will be too cumbersome for you. Good luck with your search.

Geoff

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Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberSun 16-Mar-14 03:36 PM
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#46. "RE: Pole Photography"
In response to Reply # 45


Philadelphia, US
          

Thanks Geoff. I was at Home Depot yesterday and saw the same thing up to 3 inch diameter electrical pvc conduit. That said, I wasn't impressed by the pipe's lack of flexibility. While the wider ends of the piper were nicely thick to accommodate joining the pipe, most of the pipe was decidedly thinner. I don't think going that way will work for me.

Ned
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tfeazel Silver Member Nikonian since 12th Sep 2004Sat 15-Mar-14 12:39 PM
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#41. "RE: Pole Photography"
In response to Reply # 39


Polk City, US
          

This is an extremely interesting concept.
several posts include pole suggestions.
Many of the poles are fiberglass or pvc pipe. Both of these materials are strong, but very "bendy."
How do these materials perform as camera supports?
I would expect that aluminum poles would be much more suitable, as they are more rigid, and about the same weight as fiberglass or pvc. The big drawback to aluminum poles is cost, as they are considerably more expensive.
The paint poles are probably available in aluminum.
I have done zero research oh this subject, and am asking for other Nikonians practical experience to avoid wasting money on stuff that sounds good, but isn't good for holding a camera steady.

Tom

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Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberSat 15-Mar-14 01:47 PM
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#42. "RE: Pole Photography"
In response to Reply # 41


Philadelphia, US
          

You've summed it up well Tom.

Ned
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Dallaspilot Gold Member Nikonian since 18th Oct 2010Sun 16-Mar-14 11:48 AM
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#43. "RE: Pole Photography"
In response to Reply # 41
Sun 16-Mar-14 11:49 AM by Dallaspilot

Plano, US
          

Some in this string have mentioned parade photography. In older cities, power lines are strung along the streets over the parade viewing area. Holding or being close to a metal pole is just too dangerous for me. It will be difficult enough to manage the pole and nearly impossible to watch the end you're not holding while thinking about photo composition. The intersection of a metal pole, a multitasking photographer, power lines and Murphy's law is not a place to be.

  

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Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberSun 16-Mar-14 12:42 PM
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#44. "RE: Pole Photography"
In response to Reply # 43


Philadelphia, US
          

You make a very interesting point, which I sometimes forget, living in a downtown area which requires its power lines to be below ground, and in working in other cities in the northeast part of the US, which require the same.

In the US, the National Electrical Code (NEC) mandates "acceptable" clearances for power lines to keep the public safe from coming into contact with them. I put "acceptable" in quotation marks, because in some ways, in my opinion, these heights are far from acceptable, but we all have to live with them. (Some towns and municipalities which permit above ground power lines require the power line to be located at an elevation higher than NEC standards, but most do not.)


  • For power lines over sidewalks and platforms, not exceeding 150 volts, a minimum of 10' clearance is needed.
  • For power lines over driveways, non-commercial traffic, and residential property, not exceeding 300 volts, a minimum of 12' clearance is needed.
  • For power lines over public streets, roadways without truck traffic and alleys, with voltages of 300-600 volts, a minimum clearance of 15' is required.
  • For power lines over alleys, public streets, non-residential driveways, roadways with truck traffic, with maximum voltages of 600 volts, a minimum clearance of 18' is required.

Regardless, if I end up with a metal pole of any kind above the height of about 8 feet, I will make sure that any section of pole I hold on to will be made of insulating fiberglass, like the hot sticks used by electricians, or some other insulating material.

Unfortunately, I'm not sure the entire photography pole could be made of fiberglass. It's a matter of weight versus stiffness. The fiberglass poles which are stiff enough, weigh too much to use.

Nevertheless, your point of the problem of electrical conduction leading to electrocution, and potential DSLR destruction due to high voltage running through it while shooting, is not one to be glossed over or dismissed. It must be an important part of the decision.

Thanks very much for your post.

Ned
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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Mon 17-Mar-14 11:45 PM
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#49. "RE: Pole Photography"
In response to Reply # 44


Richmond, US
          

Particularly if you have 20', it occurs to me that you could run into some discussions with local legislation. In my vicinity, even renting a bucket truck requires more than one type of certification, specifically because of the danger of interference with infrastructure and/or endangerment of yourself and others nearby. In my case, I just wanted to rent it to trim the trees on my own property, but I wasn't even able to rent it. It wouldn't surprise me if there were laws governing things like what we'd want to do photographically.

_____
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Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberTue 18-Mar-14 01:28 PM
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#50. "RE: Pole Photography"
In response to Reply # 49


Philadelphia, US
          

Interesting. You and I thought along the same lines about this. While I don't know about other areas, in my home city, apparently because the pole will be hand held, the typical laws don't apply. If the pole would be self supporting, for instance, like a flag pole, then there are laws about its placement. If the pole would be held in a sleeve from a vehicle, like many masts for TV antennas, then there are laws concerning its mounting and use. By hand holding the pole, it's considered akin to a ladder, but since I won't be climbing it, the ladder regulations about construction don't apply.

About the only regulations I can find which definitely apply are privacy laws, such as using this to photograph people behind a high wall on private property. I'm not allowed to use this kind of rig for that purpose.

Ned
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KStiles Registered since 08th Oct 2013Mon 17-Mar-14 03:59 PM
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#47. "RE: Pole Photography"
In response to Reply # 0
Mon 17-Mar-14 04:00 PM by KStiles

DFW Metroplex, US
          

Hi Ned,
I was researching online regarding your current interest of pole photog, it's also mentioned as elevated photog. Might want dig around using the term elevated to get more input.
Thanks for the great ideas.
Regards
KStiles

  

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Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberMon 17-Mar-14 04:19 PM
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#48. "RE: Pole Photography"
In response to Reply # 47


Philadelphia, US
          

Thanks Katherine, I'll try the term.

Ned
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AUMike Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Feb 2008Wed 19-Mar-14 01:20 AM
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#51. "RE: Pole Photography"
In response to Reply # 48


Birmingham, US
          

Pole pruning saws

Try this:

http://polesawdirect.com/?gclid=CNHPiO_Enb0CFchZ7AodfVoAjA

Mike

  

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Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberWed 19-Mar-14 01:43 AM
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#52. "RE: Pole Photography"
In response to Reply # 51


Philadelphia, US
          

Interesting Mike. Thanks. I'll have to investigate it.

Ned
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