Robin Hoskyns Nature Photography – Blog

Images and stories of nature, science and conservation.


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Today I drilled through a frying pan! (DIY Ground Pod)

The completed ground pod with a wimberley sidekick and 120-300mm 2.8

The completed ground pod with a wimberley sidekick and 120-300mm 2.8

Another little DIY project that I have been thinking about doing for a while now. A DIY ground pod!

I got the idea from “The Handbook of Bird Photography” by Bence Mate, Jari Peltomaki and Markus Varesvuo which is a great book with loads of information about photographing birds. Normally I find these books are more for beginners and only cover the basics but this book has a load of detailed information. One of the ideas this book gives is to use a ground pod to get a very low angle.

The idea of a ground pod is that you can have all the flexibility of having a long lens on a gimbal style head much lower than any tripod with the lens being much more maneuverable than when using a bean bag. Also the smooth bottom allows you to slide your set-up along the ground as you crawl towards your subject, something that is a pain in the ass with a tripod.

When I looked up ground pods on the internet the cheapest of these cost around £80-£100 which isn’t bad for photographic equipment. However whilst looking at ground pods I came across a couple of people who had made their own and decided that Id give it a go.

Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Drill a hole in an old frying pan.

Step 2: Attach tripod head!

That’s it! It’ literally took me 5 minutes!

I considered trying to remove the handle but actually it makes it easier to maneuver so I left it on.

I’m expecting some odd looks next time I turn up at a nature reserve with my camera attached to a frying pan but I’m exited to see how it works in the field!

The underside showing the standard tripod plate screw used to hold the tripod head on. I might tape over this to make it slide along the ground more easily.

The underside showing the standard tripod plate screw used to hold the tripod head on. I might tape over this to make it slide along the ground more easily.

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