Ever since getting my Manfrotto magic arm to setup a motorcycle rig, I’ve wanted to invest in a few more bits for a car rig. Well I finally got around to doing this this past weekend. I already had most of the bits and only needed the suction grips and some type of pole to extend the camera out. I initially went with some aluminum square tube, but that wasn’t rigid enough. I eventually went with 8′ of fence post.
Next step was to find a suitable location. Requirements included a busy backdrop to emphasize the motion blur and open space as the ‘boom’ would have to extend laterally. After driving around a bit, I used my work’s parking lot.
The suction grips where attached to the rear window for the rear angled shot as it provided the most stable surface for the suction grips. For the front angle, I attached the suction grips to the hood, but the hood provided alot of flex, which made crisp shots that much tougher. So the overall setup is car -> suction grips -> 8′ pole -> magic arm -> camera.
Set the camera to Tv with a shutter speed at 1/2 second, set the focus location, and off I went, around the parking lot at about 5-10 miles per hour. Using Pocket Wizards, I remotely triggered the camera when I thought the camera was stable enough. The few folks that saw me with this setup must have thought I was crazy. I probably took about 100 shots with only around 3 that I felt was what I was looking for. Add some post processing and walla!
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 16-35mm f2.8 L + B&W polarizer
8′ fence pole
3 Manfrotto super clamps
2 Manfrotto suction grips
1 Manfrotto magic arm
2 Pocket wizards + wired trigger