There are two types of photographers: Male and female. Well, if you don’t like sexism, we can also break it down along two other distinguishing characteristics: There are those who are into gadgetry and those who aren’t. Interestingly, those characteristics also depend on the existence of the Y-chromosome. From my own experience I can say that the women photographers I know, tend to be less interested in the hardware and the accompanying accessories while my male colleagues are very much au fait with any possible gimmick that might enhance their photographic output.
I am probably a double double-X carrier: My interest in gadgets, gimmicks and gizmos – sorry: filters, lenses and equipment – is fairly minimal. That’s one XX checked. BUT: In a rather housewifey, woman-of-leisure-with-time kind of way I am a craft-queen who likes to make things herself. (That’s the other XX checked.) And if my interest is piqued, I will persist with a crafty project and get it done, despite photography these days taking precedence over my crafty pursuits. Here is a project I just completed, where I was able to combine the two things. I made a camera bean bag, a sort of light-weight portable camera “tripod”. So may I present the “double-whammy”!?
Before you get a heart attack: Yes, this is an open window on the third floor, but marky Mark was sitting safe and sound on my bean bag. And it was quite stormy outside when I tested it. I designed this camera bean bag myself and tried and tested it today. The beauty of my bean bag is: It consists of two separate, but sewn together cushions, filled with styrofoam balls. Therefore it is light-weight and easy to carry if you are out and about (about 500g max). It has a handle for easy carrying and a carabiner with which it could be attached to the outside of a camera rucksack.
The material I used is waterproof, i.e. the bean bag can be placed on wet ground or beach sand, will protect the precious camera that way and at the same time won’t get soggy and damp. (I actually cut up my kids’ playtunnel for the material… super
badmum strikes again…) The two parts of the bean bag are sewn together in the middle. That means you can slide the bean bag over railings, a fence or a car door (for those occasions when you are on safari, *hahaha*) and it won’t slip. The weight of the camera will keep it in place. This works both in upright orientation or in horizontal orientation. You can rest the camera entirely on the bag and sprint into the frame for a self-timer shot, or you can use it as a cushion on a fence/banister/branch of a tree if you are shooting with a long lens that makes the camera too heavy to hand-hold.
Added bonus: the camera bean bag also works as a nice and soft pillow, should you feel the urgent desire for a little snooze on your shoot.
Sounds like an advertisement? Well, can’t hide the fact that I worked in marketing in a previous life. Comments? Ideas? Improvements? Suggestions are very welcome! Give me a shout if you want to try it out!