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Recently suffered an injury to my right shoulder that means I now have limited strength in the right arm and can no long lift the arm to hold my DSLR, although I can just about manage a compact so long as it has an eye piece as I can't hold the camera out to view the LCD screen. Unfortunately this situation is permanent and not likely to improve, as a result have not been able to take any pics for the last 6 months and am getting increasingly frustrated. Have been experimenting with tripod and monopod as a means of holding the camera with limited success for the type of photography I like - namely air shows and nature. Had some success using the DSLR on a tripod with live view for static subjects but not ideal for the sort of photography I want to do, also carrying a heavy camera bag tripod etc is also out of the question.
Anyone out there had a similar experience who can offer some tips - workrounds, equipment, etc?
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Sorry to hear of your problem and sorry I can't offer any direct advice.However you could try contacting the disabled photographers association to see if anyone there could help you out.
I saw this video camera solution for left handed operation, there is also a comment on a DIY approach if it intterests you - http://www.anythinglefthanded.co.uk/left-handed-digital-video-camera.html#sthash.5cFfxpgt.dpbs
I have limited use of my left arm and hand, I went on the disabled photographers site and and found links to equipment for disabled photographers. I use a chest tripod.
I lost sensation in my right hand and arm through nerve damage and was out of action for several months. During recovery my arm was kept in a splint 24/7 for a few months so i couldnt bend it at the elbow, and it later took a while of physio sessions to build up strength again. I'm not at 100% and its unlikely i will ever get that back so i can completely understand your situation
In my situation i had to use a tripod to shoot, and i've since changed the types of photography i shoot to limit the amount of carrying and time spent holding cameras. Even my business has changed to adapt to my situation but fortunately it has actually been a good move in that respect
I can't use my right hand for holding my camera (a 5D Mark 2). I always use a neckstrap for obvious reasons and, for landscape orientation, hold the base of the camera with my left hand such that the bottom of the camera and lens barrel rests along the ridge of my hand between my thumb and forefinger. I use my second finger to fire the shutter, with my palm facing almost vertically towards me. I can handhold to about 1/40 of a second with the 24-105mm attached. Vertical shots are a little less stable as I have to rotate the camera 90 degrees clockwise but I still try to squeeze the shutter button, keeping my left elbow into my body and,of course, holding my breath. I find the I need higher shutter speeds when shooting in the vertical format, so either increase ISO or use a tripod. Hope that helps
Quote: Recently suffered an injury to my right shoulder that means I now have limited strength in the right arm and can no long lift the arm to hold my DSLR, although I can just about manage a compact so long as it has an eye piece as I can't hold the camera out to view the LCD screen. Unfortunately this situation is permanent and not likely to improve, as a result have not been able to take any pics for the last 6 months and am getting increasingly frustrated. Have been experimenting with tripod and monopod as a means of holding the camera with limited success for the type of photography I like - namely air shows and nature. Had some success using the DSLR on a tripod with live view for static subjects but not ideal for the sort of photography I want to do, also carrying a heavy camera bag tripod etc is also out of the question.
Anyone out there had a similar experience who can offer some tips - workrounds, equipment, etc?
There are some work-a-rounds for you from the videography world. There are harnesses etc. Here is a simple innexpensive solution from HoodmanUsa. Its called the wrist shot. You put it on your good arm and it holds a camera for you, allowing you to trip the shutter with your other arm. http://www.hoodmanusa.com/products.asp?dept=1060 This might be a solution for you if you have one good arm and shoulder. You might have to get used to shooting with the other eye etc.
There are other harnesses that you can wear using your body as a tripod, that puts the camera right in front of your face as well from the film/videography world. Tripods are cumbersome for me and I have injuries to both shoulders plus a neuromuscular disease which makes me weaker than I should be. I don't let being technically 100 percent disabled stop me from pursuing my work as a photographer. I refuse to let anything hold me back. Take your time and find the right solution to adapt your camera for your needs. I have problems with my eyes now due to the neuromuscular thing, so I use a hoodman loop on the back of my LCD which magnifies the image. I had to move to shooting with a Sony A77 because it has a focus peaking function that aid one during manual focus. It also has image stabilization built in that helps me get more keepers and best of all, face recognition that helps me nail shots when I'm shooting portraits of someone. I just teach the camera to recognize the face of the model with the first test shot, then shoot away. It works! There are so many solutions out there that you can use to take advantage and keep on shooting! Whatever your situation, you can make it better. Good luck to you.
Quote: Anyone out there had a similar experience who can offer some tips - workrounds, equipment, etc?
Yes, my GP told me there was nothing that could be done with my shoulder problem a year ago, then six months ago I got mine fixed.
I`m still recovering but its a whole lot better now, I had a Subacromial Decompression, my AC Joint was removed along with part of the clavical, and my tendons were cut, repaired and re attached via pegs.
Are you quite sure that there is nothing that can be done.
I'm sorry to hear that oldmalt,
I'm severely disabled and bed bound hours a day and I too suffer weakness in my arms and hands along with constant pain the result of which was that I could no longer manage my DSLR outfit.
I really didnt want to compromise on image quality and spent a long time looking at everything on the market.
The solution for me was Fuji, namely in my case the X-Pro1, it ticked all the boxes and with an all up weight well below that of my old Canon outfit was ideal.
I would suggest having a look at their range as there's also the X-E1 and if you can manage with a fixed 35mm equivalent lens the superb X100/X100s.
All are light weight, easy to handle and have optical/electronic viewfinders but have an image quality thats outstanding, in fact the X-Pro1 is way better than the Canon outfit I had.
With the rest of your kit as well it pays to take a good look at it and optomise it for your current abilities for instance replacing heavier tripods with ultra light carbon fibre ones, getting a good camera bag thats easy to carry as well as reducing the amount of gear you do carry.
One work around for tripod use would be to use a gimbal head for airshows as when set correctly its easy to track moving objects with one.
I understand what you mean about needing to hold the camera to your eye, our arms naturally tuck to our sides forming a natural tripod that helps steady things.
I should add that I tried all the other routes, micro 4/3rds, compact camera's etc but they didnt give me the results I wanted, it being especially hard as I'm stuck in here in low light all the time.
All the best.. Ian
A smaller lighter system could help, the weight saving especially at airshows can`t be bad.
The OMD is proving particularly good for some disabled people.
All of the above plus tripod, live view and a cable release in addition to a willing assistant. Best of luck. (It ain't easy)
Quote: All of the above plus tripod, live view and a cable release in addition to a willing assistant. Best of luck
A willing assistant, top of the list
Thanks all, some good tips there - am currently having some fun with a Fuji X100 which is helping to keep me sane - will take on board some of your tips on various tripod options. As for the problem of carting gear about am looking at various fishing trolleys for ideas.
I was just thinking that using a Sony Nex camera with a flip out screen would allow you to hold the camera at your waist level, look down into the pulled out screen and shoot. Any of the Sony SLT camera with the flip out screens would work as well. I know you are used to looking through a viewfinder, but this might be something you can get used to. That way, you are not holding the camera up--forcing your arms to be raised putting pressure on your shoulders. It is worth a try. Goodluck to you.
Quote: As for the problem of carting gear about am looking at various fishing trolleys for ideas
I thought you said you were disabled.
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