Many of us have been the beneficiaries of John and Margaret Hokkanen's great writing and fabulous digital photography for real estate that have graced the pages of Active Rain. They are constantly pushing the envelope of what is possible and explaining what is practical in the field under the conditions that we all face in marketing for our clients. I have learned a lot from their articles concerning lighting for interior shots and HDR programs and techniques for using multiple exposures, combined by software, to provide balanced exposures of subjects with very different lighting (darker room with bright outside windows, for example).
As I have read about pole photography I have seen the benefits of elevating the vantage point for the camera to provide a different (and improved) perspective of the subject - in my case a property which I am trying to market effectively to serve the needs of my client. But there are other applications for personal and sports photography as well.
I was not in the market for a trailer mounted, hydraulically actuated system that would require warning strobes and FAA approval within thirty miles of an airport. But I wanted more than holding my monopod over my head with a digital camera attached with a timer release on the shutter. I had read of many attempts by real estate agents and photographers to attach a camera to a pole with fastening systems that appear to have been designed by Mr Rube Goldberg himself. Not with my camera you don't.
Enter John Hokkanen with a device which is elegant in its simplicity but effective and reliable in its function.
John's Pole Pixie adapter is a small cylinder with a camera outside thread stud on one side matching the thread on the underside of our cameras. The other end of the cylinder (not visible in photo at left) has a larger inside thread which matches the painters pole or broom or mop handles that are available and inexpensive at any hardware, painter or home improvement store.
The device which I chose is an expanding pole of composite material which extends to approximately 15 feet. The Pole Pixie adapter attaches to the pole by screwing the inside thread receiver to the thread of the pole. The connection is tight and secure and permits me to attach my Kodak V705 point and shoot camera with wide angle lens to the pole with ease and security. The camera is placed in the 10 second shutter delay mode, and the camera and pole are manually raised to a vertical position and hand held for the exposure. Naturally, before doing this, you must check the area for solid footing and lack of obstructions or power lines above you.
I have not yet had occasion to shoot a higher end house with the system. So I have yet to use my DSLR and wide angle lens (Nikon D40) attached to a pole in the field. The DSLR will offer the advantage of an infrared remote control which will permit multiple exposures while the camera is elevated with the pole.
The Pole Pixie adapter has allowed me to achieve better images because of the unusual vantage point for general exterior shots. I also do BPO reports and the pole mounted camera gives me a better view of roofing problems or damage to roof, wall or soffit with efficiency and good use of time.
John has the latest improved Pole Pixie adapters and other products designed to facilitate use or protect the camera available at his website. I recommend the product and suggest that you check out the website if you want to see the products and application photos. Pricing is reasonable, adapter functions as intended.
The following images are a simple example of the perspective gained from a 12 foot extension pole with the adapter, point and shoot camera (in bad late afternoon lighting).