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Camera accessories for dealing with animals

Discussion in 'Digital Photography & Imaging' started by crcook84, Aug 22, 2018.

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  1. crcook84

    crcook84 Thread Starter

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    I recently started volunteering at our local animal shelter deciding that the pictures posted on the adoption website weren't all that good. I was taking cat pictures before because they already had a dog photographer. That is until the shelter ran a "clear the shelter" program with the express purpose of getting as many animals adopted. Well, that cleared out the cat area. Unfortunately, the dog area was still half-full at least. But, it gave me a chance to see how easy it would be to take dog pictures (not that cat pictures were any easier). I was able to get quite a few beauty shots. However, it would have been easier if I had some way to direct the dogs attention at me.

    One of the workers brought up to me a dog selfie device:
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01AS6AWNK
    The main point about it is that it keeps the dog's attention on the ball, which is directly above the camera. This got me thinking. What about a camera mount that will work on more professional grade cameras? I have a Nikon D3200. Yes, I know it's, technically, old. But, it still works and takes fantastic pictures. As such, can anyone direct me to a device I can mount on top of it to facilitate getting an animal's attention so as to make it easier to take adoption photos? I could even see retrofitting a mount made for one thing to make it hold a tennis ball. I'm just not sure what combination of keywords I would need to use just to find something like that.
     
  2. cwwozniak

    cwwozniak Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    Try searching for baby attention camera on Google shopping. You should be able to find a few bright and colorful items that gently grip around the lens of a camera. They are meant for getting the attention of an infant to look a camera lens, but way work for a curious cat as well.
     
  3. crcook84

    crcook84 Thread Starter

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    Well, that got me pointed in the right direction. At first, I found items meant to be strap to your camera lens. Then I found this:
    https://www.rikkihibbert.co.za/2010...r-portraiture-and-how-to-make-a-hot-shoe-toy/
    It mentions utilizing an old hot shoe adapter to hold a toy. Utilizing those new keywords, I did an Amazon search and found these:
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KXQIV7K/
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00J2L8S5W/
    They're, definitely, cheap enough to be able to be re-purposed into something else. I'm thinking I could cut a hole into some pet toys to stick on the end of the triple mount or tie to the microphone shock mount.
     
  4. cwwozniak

    cwwozniak Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    The fun part may be finding a cat toy that will hold the attention of most cats without causing them to want to jump and pounce on the toy.
     
  5. crcook84

    crcook84 Thread Starter

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    Ya, good point. There's a bunch of pedestal like platforms that past photographers have utilized to make it easier to take pictures of cats. Suddenly, I'm seeing a hazard should they decide to leap from one of the taller platforms. Guess, I'll have to keep that in mind.

    In the meantime, I got some questions about some mounts:
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AI2DT58/
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00V3QB338/
    Do these look like they could fit the hot shoe of a Nikon D3200? They look generic enough not to matter how they're put on. But, the cameras pictured are all Canon.
     
  6. cwwozniak

    cwwozniak Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    The dimensions of a basic hot shoe are defined by the International Organization for Standardization.

    https://www.iso.org/standard/36330.html

    Camera manufactures that follow the standard may add their own electrical contact configurations, but a cold (no electrical contacts) hot shoe adapter built to that standard should be able to mechanically fit and lock onto any of those cameras.

    Please post a picture of your final product. I am curious as to what you end up with.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2018
  7. crcook84

    crcook84 Thread Starter

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    Well, I've ordered the items. I wanted to wait until my next credit card cycle before placing the order. (And I'm posting this update to make sure this post doesn't get closed before I have a chance to finish it.)
     
  8. RT

    RT

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    As Chuck technically said (howdy Chuck!), camera accessories are virtually interchangeable from brand to brand, very few are brand specific (battery packs now days are the common exception, perhaps lens filter size...) This had been common since the 35mm film days.

    Also be aware ( and frankly I'm quite sure that you already ARE ;)
    that dealing with photographing animals may require some time, extending your patience when you're out of patience and filling an SD card with a plethora of shots before you get one that MiGHT work...which requires laborious review of all the shots...:rolleyes:
    it's the nature of the beast, so to speak...

    Try spending a day on wild life photography, your patience will be taxed for sure! :)

    I too, am curious about your results, a before and after would be cool!
    Don't worry crcook84, thread won't be closed soon...
    Please share your progress!
     
  9. crcook84

    crcook84 Thread Starter

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    Well, here's what I, finally, did. The first image is with the V-bracket and the second is with the ball pivot (check my earlier post for Amazon links):
    20180910_140903.jpg 20180910_140824.jpg
    I had to take the pictures with my cell phone for obvious reasons. Obviously, one doesn't seem to have all that much more advantage over the other. But, at $8 each, whatever.
     
  10. managed

    managed Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    Whatever you do don't try to photograph Serena Williams with that set up ! ;)
     
  11. crcook84

    crcook84 Thread Starter

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    Right. :D
     
  12. RT

    RT

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    :cool:
    It's always cool to see the different ways photographers adapt to the situation!

    I more than once nearly broke some bones for a shot, even though it didn't turn out to my expectations, but ya might say I was focused on the task :)

    Anticipating some cat/dog pics of yours...
     
  13. crcook84

    crcook84 Thread Starter

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    Well, I do have the Google share that I was sharing with Tri-City that I could post the link. Unfortunately, there was only one dog that the tennis ball seemed to work on. Otherwise, I found myself still trying to figure out ways by which to get beauty shots of the animals.
    https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1R-zFJ5aL9HDwljpT71NDcwAe-ye8b8db
    The particular folder is 2018-09-11. The one dog that it seemed to work a little on was Zain.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2018
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