Photography Tip: Where Tripods Dare Not Go

March 2, 2010 By: timromano

double_red_gripNgrin.jpgA couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of catching monster redfish of the coast off Louisiana with my good friends Travis and Bryan Holeman. We had one day in particular where we could do no wrong and I wanted to document our multiple “doubles.” Now I’m not much for “grip n’ grin” photos of fish, but when you and your friend are hooking up 20- to 30-pound fish two at a time, a record for posterity is never a bad thing. The challenge? How to record the event with just two of you on board the boat.

Enter a little piece of equipment called the Magic Arm by Manfrotto. The manufacturer advertises it as “your extra arm in the studio.” The mounting system consists of two ball heads and a lever you use to lock them in place when satisfied with the position of the camera, letting you mount a camera on almost anything for perfect positioning. Mine is equipped with a Super Clamp, which works well for any kind of tubing, thin boat gunwhales, or open car windows. This little gizmo has helped me out in a ton of situations where a standard tripod would never have worked.