The Aviator

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I’ve been tracking this project on KickstarterThe Aviator Travel Jib for the past few days. When I first saw it three days ago, it had just reached its pledge goal. Right now its one pledge away from trebling that goal.

The design of this thing is beautiful and simple, and the setup is really quick. At around $550 it’s not a small purchase, but compared to most other cranes on the market, it’s very affordable.

The only comparable device I’ve found is the MK3 Crane from DSLR Devices. Overall its design is not all that compelling, though I do like their recommendation that you mount it to a tripod using a standard quick-release plate and a locked-off fluid head. I think that could work equally well on the Aviator.

The one wedding shot I find hard to pull off is the processional. On a standard two-camera shoot, you have to move one of the cameras, and there’s no way to be unobtrusive at that point. In most small chapels the doors open on daylight, meaning you’ve got a massively backlit bride coming in to frame. While the glow and halo can be nice, it can also be a complete mess. In addition to that, you’ve got an entire room of people standing at lens height, all with their back to you, and none of them caring that they’ve just stood up in front of your camera.

A jib this small and simple to setup (particularly with quick-release plates) could be the perfect solution. It makes it possible to shoot over the heads of the crowd, and capture the processional from the sidelines without moving the camera position. Apart from that, a crane shot at that point would easily be the “money shot” of the ceremony.

At the end of the processional, the jib could be left in place (if its unobtrusive), or snapped off in seconds, and the camera placed straight on the tripod’d fluid head.


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