By Sarah Ripplinger
It’s summer, the perfect time for a bike tour. You have a pretty decent camera, but steering and photography don’t exactly go hand-in-hand. The answer, a bike-junkie-cum-shutterbug’s dream come true: the rear bike camera mount.
Designed by Marc Bjorknas, a Vancouver-based pianist, composer, artist, and photographer, the rear bike camera mount is a way to capture action shots of friends as they struggle up hills, get pounded by rain, and grin ear-to-ear on a sunny, romantically-tree-strewn pathway. Bjorknas says mounting his camera on the back of his bike has allowed him to “catch candid moments and capture some of that joy” people exude while biking. Plus, he says, “I think it’s just a little more authentic.”
There will inevitably be some blurry and out of focus photos, as your camera will have to be set to shoot every five seconds or so (unless you can control the shots using remote or other means). Otherwise, as Bjorknas says, you can describe your candid shots as “fragments of authentic bike movement.”
The basics – what you’ll need:
• Camera that can shoot at intervals (usually every two to 10 seconds). Bjorknas uses a Richo GR Digital 2 camera, but you could also use another camera equipped with interval shooting, such as the Pentax Optio 750Z, or download a Canon Hacker’s Development Kit to install an interval mode onto a regular Canon camera (see links below for suggested websites to visit for more information)
• Camera with an “infinity focus” setting (this allows you to capture objects both in the foreground and background, ensuring that your subject is at least partially in focus)
• Clamp/universal camera mount (available at most camera stores)
• Watertight case (Bjorknas uses a “Pelican” case from London Drugs)
• PVC barrel (large enough for your camera lens to fit through)
• Neoprene (for shock absorption)
• UV filter (sometimes available for cheap through Craigslist)
• Light hood
• A piece of string to attach your mount to your bike rack (just in case)
• A bike rack
Putting it all together:
Cut a hole in the watertight case that is large enough to fit the PVC barrel (shown attached to case in photo diagram). Glue the barrel into the hole in the watertight case. Attach the UV filter and light hood to the PVC barrel. Place your camera inside the case and secure with the neoprene or other foamy material. Attach one end of the clamp to the camera case, the other to your bike rack. Tie the string to the clamp and bike rack. And voila!
For instructions on how to build a bike camera mount for the front of your bike, Bjorknas recommends visiting www.camerahacker.com/build/Bicycle_Camera_Mount.php
Canon Hacker’s Development Kit suggested websites: www.lifehacker.com/387380/turn-your-point+and+shoot-into-a-super+camera www.chdk.wikia.com/wiki/UBASIC/Scripts:_Ultra_Intervalometer
Originally published in the July/ August 2009 issue of Momentum Magazine and on momentummag.com.