Shoulder Mounts - For Cameras Or Parrots?
The advent of the DSLR that took good video led to a real flowering of the arts - the arts of the industrial designers, the computer-controlled milling machine operators and the professional gear salesmen.
The designers looked at the types of support that had developed in the motion picture industry ( when cameras were pushed about on wheels by unionised labour...) and tried to make the small products look and work like the big ones. In some cases they adopted amazing configurations - like the camera support that plugged into a socket at the front of your pants. Others were reminiscent of something that the army would use to fire anti-tank missiles. One looked like a broken steering wheel and several looked like they were made up of Meccano parts.
The machinists did their part magnificently - turning dense aluminium castings or plates into real works of art. This was a business that may have owed more to the ability to program a computer than to turn the wheels of a lathe, but the beauty of the results could not be denied. Sometimes it became so complex - large and heavy - as to defy sense or to fulfil the basic function.
As far as the sales pitch went - well, the thing was simple. Show pictures of fit young people wearing sleeveless padded outdoor vests and feed caps set backwards on their heads. Make sure they were lean and stubbly - even the girls. Pose them with these improbable camera racks in the midst of a DEA raid or on the edge of the Grand Canyon. Suggest hard-hitting, razor edge iconic up-and-coming superstars set to burst onto the world like a comet...courtesy of the aluminium castings and tubes - and take the money.
But take the money fast because the next edition of " Stubbly Dude With A Camera Magazine " is due out on the stand in two weeks and the next fashionable accessory will likely be different...