Sometimes, for various reasons, you need to shoot from a very low vantage point. In my “cozy” studio, which you might remember seeing in my video – “intro-duck-tion”, that happens quite a bit.
The shortest tripod I own is sometimes still not quite short enough, and handholding is not always an option. So I recently made this floor plate.
While the glue was drying, I looked up similar items on the open market and found that there are a few options out there, but they cost between $50.00-150.00, and in my opinion they are often too light and/or too small to offer true stability and support for a heavy – possibly front heavy – camera. Many of the DIY solutions I came across were also overly complicated.
So, I built my own, which cost me about $20.00, and is now already ready for action.
I really just wanted a simple plate with a 3/8” screw onto which I could mount any standard tripod head.
Here’s What I Used
- I bought
- a $10 piece of steel, measuring 12″ x 4″ x 1/4″
- A small scrap of textured rubber for about $3.
- I also used a couple of items I had lying around
- a 3/8″ hex bolt,
- a scrap of wood,
- some wood finish,
- and a bit of epoxy.
And Here’s how I made it
I shortened the hex bolt to a length appropriate for a tripod head socket, and then I took a walk to a local iron works, where I gave a welder $5.00 for a thirty-second welding job, securing the head of the hex bolt to the center of the steel plate.
Then, I cut the rubber and the wood to the same dimensions as the steel plate.
I used a 1″ hole saw to open the center of the wood, which then fit around the raised weld.
The rubber and wood are affixed to the bottom and top of the steel plate with epoxy. The rubber prevents the plate from slippage, and the wood allows the tripod head to grip more tightly when screwed into place, filling the gap between the end of the hex bolt’s threads and the bottom of the weld.
Additionally, the rubber and the wood allowed for softer edges all around, so I can mix this item into my equipment bags without fear of it scratching other equipment in close proximity.
The floor plate weighs a few pounds, almost entirely because of the steel core, and while the ones I’ve seen on the market are lighter, I like the fact that this is bottom heavy and very stable.
About The Author
James Burger is a portrait and still life photographer based in Brooklyn, New York