We need to capture an overhead shot of a beautifully landscaped garden for the front cover of the new Marshall’s paving brochure.
…was the start of a brief that came in from Manchester design agency, Gyro.
Following the phone conversation and a look at the visual, I thought, no problem, we’ll just hire in a cherry picker.

Hoylake visual screen grab

We recced the premises in Hoylake on the Wirral. It was a beautiful house with a big back garden but the access was either through the house (not an option) or through the garage at the back. The problem we had though was that the doorway into the garden from the garage was only a standard width, around 80cm – so nowhere near wide enough to get a cherry picker through.
I did the recce shots using a drone to establish the height the camera would need to be, and the best section of garden to use. We decided on a section which was at least 20 metres from the road, so getting a cherry picker to reach over the garage to where the camera needed to be was not an option. I looked at hiring camera jibs, but anything long enough to get the camera high enough with enough reach, was just too over engineered to carry a small dslr.
My solution – custom build a 10m long camera jib that could be mounted on a heavy duty wind up stand to give us the height and reach required. So, how much weight would be required to counterbalance a 3kg camera plus ball head 10m away from the pivot point? A bit of old school physics (isn’t Google wonderful!?) and I had worked out that I needed around 80kg of weight at the back end to counterbalance the camera and the weight of the scaffolding itself.

 

You can see the pictures of the finished jib below. It arrived in sections so was able to pack down to go in the van.
You can see in the first picture the ratchet winch attached on top. Much like a railway crossing barrier, without the tensioned cable running along the length, the scaffolding bar would bend like a banana!2015-06-19 11.24.36

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And below you can see the final image for the 2015/2016 Marshalls front cover.
Marshalls