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Peter, how cool, thank you so much, I look forward to any input/suggestion, certainly the imagery and to all please don't hesitate to chime in, ask me direct questions
I think Tim's account of shooting from a kayak is actually pretty spot on. I normally shoot hand-held and am comfortable balance/strength wise with a gripped 40D and 70-200 f4L IS or the 300 f4L IS. But add just a bit more weight, a 1.4x T/C or extension tubes and I'm getting close to disabled...no sharp keepers.
Those big beautiful teles of 500mm and up are not in my game yet...and I'm not sure they will. Discussions with Peter and others have born some fruit, and I'm very close to completing a year plus long effort for a semi-flexible support system for my power chair, with a 400 f5.6L likely in my future
Some background for context. I've a high level spinal cord injury, C4-6 Incomplete is my designation, so my issues are not just an able body sitting down in a chair or bench, even a Kayak. Here are a few issues...some not easy to explain/understand. I broke my neck and after near 35yrs have not gained any movement back. Sensation and strength, upper body control are 'upgradable' via workouts n experimentation...so I can still shoot, drive, get drunk, etc. Tequila is my fav
My fingers and parts of my arms are completely paralyzed, as is everything else from mid-chest down; there be no walking here, so when I'm tired I use a chest strap; a seat belt to keep me tight against my seat back, it's very restrictive movement wise, but keeps me balanced; physically, the mental bit is in question on occasion. I use a remote switch for firing the shutter, it's placed in my mouth to free up both hands to manage the camera n lens; I use my tongue to half and fully press the shutter button...no questions please I'm sure I look quite...professional.
I've no use of my triceps, so while I can extend my arm forward with the help of gravity, gravity also takes control when said arm is raised above head; my arm collapses at the elbow and as often happens I get a face full of fist and/or camera...something I try greatly to avoid...on occasion a brain fart occurs and I forget not to...ouch the flocking hurt.
Imagine sitting in a stiff armchair, your upper body can twist at your trunk/waist, but your only way to move about is with hands to tires n push; as was done my 1st 15yrs, or now one hand on the joystick to move about. There is no shooting while on the move, it's just not safe. And a tripod is pretty much unusable as they don't mix well with wheelchairs.
I pretty much shoot what is directly in front of me, tried strapping a monopod to the outside front of my chair but the angle is tough to manage, live view is okay but using the viewfinder most difficult. If all works as planned, I will be able to manage a Gimbal head that is fixed to a slider bar, so left to right movement across my lap should be feasible. I won't have much movement when using my seat belt to strap me in, but without it should be able to keep the viewfinder usable, otherwise it's liveview.
Action and BIF are not my photographic concentration but are something I want to give a go. There are limits but pushing them has always been my way...
I don't surf anymore, never figured out how to mount a chair on a board; even a long board, nor do I climb so El Capitan is out, tho it's was a blast back in 76. Photography is still within reach, even tho I'm somewhat reach/venue limited, there is plenty to shoot.
When I get back in my wheels, slap that support on we'll see how things go. Practice, refining technique and re-building my strength are my focus. A major medical issue put me down, confined me to bed since early 08. There have been brief passages when getting outside was possible and much of my that shooting time can be seen in my posts here on FM, on Facebook and soon in a less then attended to blog.
Everyone here on FM has inspired me through their imagery, posts and PM's. I'm looking forward to sharing more images this year, perhaps even a BIF or two. March should be a good start as I'll be rolling at a more steady pace, healed n mostly healthy it's time to go shoot something
Your thoughts, suggestions on gear, technique, etc. are most welcome, encouraged and appreciated. This place of film n digital is humbling and inspiring, thank you all, Fred, for keeping it real.
Edited on Feb 24, 2013 at 03:32 AM · View previous versions