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January 03, 2011

$500 Underwater Tripod... No Thanks!

Three days and counting until I travel to Maui for a week to shoot footage for a short film my girlfriend and I have been working on and are hoping to enter into several upcoming film festivals. While I've got most of the gear I need, I still don't have an underwater tripod. No problem, it can't cost that much, right? Wrong! Most tripods cost between $400 and $500.

After all the money I've spent on lenses, housings, video lights, memory cards, no I have to spend several hundred more bucks on a tripod? Not necessarily. Two weeks ago, I was reading Tony Wu's blog, which I recommend all underwater photographers and videographers read, and noticed a photo he'd taken of the rig he used during his recent trip to Ambon. Are those two Gorillapods mounted to his tray? Yeah!

In his blog, Wu says his rig included, "a few Gorillapods, and a bunch of homemade bits and pieces held together by miscellaneous nuts, bolts, tape and crossed fingers." Now, I'm no engineer. But if Wu can do it, I'm sure I can.

Two days, three trips to the hardware store, two trips to the camera shop and $60 bucks later, my underwater tripod is done:


While mine can't pan-and-tilt like the $500 tripods and will eventually rust at certain areas, it saved me $440. When I return from Maui, I'll post a video tutorial showing how I built my underwater tripod and how easily you can do the same.

Posted by jroualdes at 09:43 PM | Comments (0)