Automotive rigs are becoming more and more common as are the articles written about them, even with that in mind I wanted to share my first day and half shooting with one. In the most basic sense a rig consists of some suctions cups, clamps, and a pole, but just like most other things not all components are created equal. I decided to go with the Rig-Pro kit that more specifically included the following
- Rig-Pro™ suction cup (2)
- 2" swivel adapter (2)
- 6" swivel adapter (1)
- Removable swivel (2)
- Magic-Arm with camera platform (1)
- Super-clamp (3)
- 18-foot (5.4 meter), 6-section ( I opted for the smaller segments for travel size but you can also get 20-foot, 4-section pole)
To help test out the kit for the first time I was lucky enough to have access to a 2013 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X for 24 hours. As a side note I never really understood truck people until spending a day in the mountains with the Frontier, now I have an urge to do more off-roading.
Back on topic, since I was shooting an off-road truck I wanted to set up the rig shots to be off-road adding another level of difficultly because of the bumpy surface. Also as strongly as Rig-Pro suggest against it I was out shooting alone.
Setting up the kit was easy, even after only using over this one day I learned a lot about placements and what seemed to worked, what seemed to put stress on the body panels, and what just did not work. Mostly it is just common sense but if the suctions can't be on the glass try and stay near the edges of panels as that is where they are strongest.
While I was able to score some shots that made me happy the first day I also was able to capture the photo no one with a rig ever wants to see...The moment it collapses. Zero percent of the fault falls with the rig, it was my own stupidity. The placement was bad, creating a force that wanted to tip forward and in racing the sun I backed over a bump too fast making the pole bounce.
The good news is that it fell in the most perfect way possible avoiding body panels and hitting by the front wiper, my camera only fell a short distance and onto soft sand. This is a mishap that will not happen again. Live, learn, and keep pushing.
After spending the day learning what works well I decided to go for it and hang the rig off the edge of a bridge, it helped to push the mistake from the day out of my mind.
More photos to follow once everything from the day is completed. I waited years to finally commit to purchasing a rig but I encourage anyone reading this that has been thinking about it to just pull the trigger and pick one up (or make it your self). The kit that I have can be found at Rig-Pro.