Notebook-Size Platform For Tethered Shooting

Notebook-Size Platform For Tethered ShootingRecently I treated myself to the Manfrotto 131DDB Double Head Support (USA) / (AUS) which allows me to mount both my camera and a laptop on the same tripod, for when I’m shooting tethered.

Now all I needed was a platform for my notebook; but all I could find available were platforms for laptops. Too big for what I needed and I also wanted something a little more secure so that my notebook would not be easily knocked over.

What Will You Need?

Notebook-Size Platform For Tethered Shooting

  • A Lamington baking tray or similar
  • A drill and highspeed drill 3/8″ bit[the standard size of a tripod mounting pin]
  • A Reamer
  • A medium size screwdriver
  • A hobby knife
  • A sheet of plain paper, a pen and sharp sissors.
  • A 1/2″ high wingnut and washer to fit 3/8″
  • A 1/2″ thick piece of compressed foam
  • A hacksaw [Not shown]
  • Metal File [Not shown]
  • Pliers [Not shown]
  • Tin Snips [Not shown]
  • A “Martin” [or any other assistant handy with drilling/sawing etc. :)]

Notebook-Size Platform For Tethered Shooting

1. Trace around the notebook on a piece of plain paper and cut out the shape. This allows you to buy the right sized baking tray and piece of compressed
foam.

2. Use the advertising paper inside the baking tray [showing the make, brand etc] to trace the inner size of the baking tray on the foam.

3. Cut out the traced foam shape using sharp scissors and place inside the baking tray. This is important so that the notebook is at the right height for the next step.

Notebook-Size Platform For Tethered Shooting

4. With the tethering cable plugged into the USB port of the Notebook, place the notebox in the tray. With this in place mark with the pen where a hole needs to be cut for the cable to fit [including both width and depth]. This is marked on the tray using the pen [or you could score it using scissors].

Notebook-Size Platform For Tethered Shooting
Notebook-Size Platform For Tethered Shooting

5. Use the hacksaw to cut down the two marks. If your baking tray also has a curled edge, after cutting through the edge use the pliers to straighten
out the curl, before continuing to saw. Once you have reached the required depth, use the tin snips to cut the piece out.

[Hint: If possible clamp down the tray before cutting as it tends to move around. In this case we didn't have this option, so the tray was on the bench up against the wall, with a towel or rag between it and the wall to protect the wall surface. I also held onto the far end out the tray to help stabilize it but making sure I was out of harms way should the hacksaw slip].

Notebook-Size Platform For Tethered Shooting

6. After checking to make sure the hole is correct, remove the foam and use a metal file to remove any burrs or rough edges.

Notebook-Size Platform For Tethered Shooting

7. Drill a hole 3/8″ in the very centre of the tray. Place the foam inside the tray, turn the tray over and mark where the hole is. Then place the wingnut over the pen mark and trace around the outside. This will give you the size of the hole you will need to cut in to the centre of the foam.

8. Cut out the hole in the foam using the hobby knife.

Notebook-Size Platform For Tethered Shooting

9. Place the tray on the Manfrotto support and secure with the washer and then wingnut. Finally place the foam into the tray. You can glue it down, although in the end I decided not to, in case I ever need to clean or replace it.

Notebook-Size Platform For Tethered Shooting

And there you have it – a Noteboox-size platform for your tripod or support. :)

Special thank you to Martin Creely for assisting with this project. :)

About The Author

Morgana Creely is a fine art photographer based in Melbourne, Australia. Morgana specializes in alternative portraits and conceptual images, and also runs workshops to create Images That Tell Stories. You can check out more of her work, tips and image at her blog or at her website.