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How a frying pan can help with your picture taking

After my last blog encouraged you to make a tripod using a piece of string, I’m going to go a little more surreal this time by explaining how an old frying pan can be used to get dramatic low angle images. The standard route to getting a low viewpoint is either to lie on the floor, use a camera with a tilting screen or mount the camera on a tripod that can be dropped to ground level. The first two options can involve you getting wet and don’t work if you want to use a longer exposure as you’re hand-holding. The latter can be a real fiddle. My frying pan groundpod, however, overcomes all of those issues.


So here’s what you need. An old frying pan, a tripod ball & socket head, a nut & bolt and tools including a drill with a 10mm bit that is suitable for going through metal.

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First up, you need to check what size screw thread the ball & socket head has. The standard size is ⅜” but you can also get little inserts – as I have here – that converts the thread to a ¼”. In either case, these imperial sizes are not readily available in DIY stores as the world has gone metric, but they can be found online. You’ll need both nut and bolt.

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Raise the frying pan off the ground and drill a hole in the centre. It doesn’t have to be absolutely central. Take care if you’re drilling through a Teflon-coated non-stick frying pan like me and, as you’ll discover, this can take some time as frying pans are pretty tough. Once you’re through, tap any sharp edges of metal down with a hammer.

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Now take your tripod head, pass the bolt through the hole and screw it into the base of the head. If you have a long bolt like me, cut the excess length off with a hacksaw and then secure it all with the bolt. Your frying pan pod is now ready for action. Obviously, with a bolt in the base, this can’t be used on a solid surface, but it’s perfect for grass, soil, pebbles, mud and sand. I headed to the beach to try mine out.

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With an X-T10 attached to the tripod head and its LCD screen flipped out it was easy to frame up my shots exactly as I wanted them at the water’s edge. The sides of the frying pan kept both sand and sea away from the camera so I was able to try a variety of images.

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Here’s one of my favourites, I think the sail on the horizon makes it.

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Finally, just a couple of notes. While the groundpod can help you get some great low angle images, I can’t be held responsible for any funny looks you might get while using it – it does look as though you’re frying your camera! Also, if you are taking pictures at the sea be aware that cameras and saltwater are uneasy bedfellows.


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For more information on the Fujifilm X-T10 click here.

 

  1. This is a clever and interesting idea. I do like lifehacks that enable us to use items for alternative purposes. I am not sure I will try this, but it does seem like it would be useful in a number of particular circumstances. Packing, however, may be an issue. Thank you for sharing you good ideas and keeping the creativity going!

  2. What a wonderfully creative idea — even if the image of a frying pan on the beach did make me chuckle. Thank you for another cool DIY idea.

  3. Cracking idea, although I’m not sure I’d be in the best books for ruining our best non stick pan 🙂

  4. Peter Panik

    I love the last picture … but wait, what is there swimming to the right … a pan with a …. camera ?! ;o)

  5. Ron Hyde

    Hi great idea, you say it can’t be used on a hard surface due to the bolt. If the frying pan was the other way up this wouldn’t be an issue, depending on the pan you may have to remove the handle.

  6. […] your camera on the sand. Here is one of the cooler ideas ever shared courtesy of Roger Payne at fujifilm-blog. Oh, and it uses a frying pan. […]

  7. […] About the author: Roger Payne is a photography blogger, NFFC season ticket holder, and mountain biker. You can find more from him on the Fujifilm Blog or by following him on Twitter. This article was originally published here. […]

  8. […] About the author: Roger Payne is a photography blogger, NFFC season ticket holder, and mountain biker. You can find more from him on the Fujifilm Blog or by following him on Twitter. This article was originally published here. […]

  9. […] Over on the Fujifilm blog, photographer Roger Payne shows how he used a frying pan to save himself from lying on the ground when getting low-angle shots. You’ll need a few things though—most importantly an actual tripod head (ideally with a ball and socket joint) that you’ll use to mount your camera to the pan. Then you’ll also need the appropriate nut and bolt to mount the head and a drill with a 10mm bit. […]

  10. Do this but flip the pan over and remove the handle. Then it can be used on any surface

  11. Don’t forget to wipe the grease spatter off the lens before using! LoL

  12. Use peanut oil for the best taste.

  13. […] FUJIFILM BLOG Shoutout to the Fujifilm Blog for this cool tip. One problem with tripods is that they’re not so great for low-level photography, but this little trick solves that problem by mounting a ball head onto a frying pan. This way you can get low without getting your camera damaged — perfect for the beach! 4. DIY color filters […]

  14. Great idea! I have to make this!

  15. Really interesting article. It is very helpful for photographer.

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