Topic Author
Posts: 613
Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2000 7:33 am

Spotting With A Disability

Fri Mar 30, 2012 2:51 am

Now - I want to be absolutely clear here when I say that I do NOT expect nor deserve special treatment because of my disability (quadriplegic since 1999), and I’ve never even mentioned it before, and in the past preferred not to, but I'm just stating amongst fellow spotters that I feel this hobby has gone past my skill level in the last few years. My only hand muscles available are the ones that lift my wrists. Everything else is sorta manipulation to be honest. My setup includes a Manfrotto mono pod that I've just purchased along with my 60D (I was kinda itching to get back into photography while spotting, so upgraded from a 40D and dove in). This was to solve the issue of bearing all the weight of the equipment which would add to my shaking...I already shake like a drunk lol. I then put a Canon RS-60E3 remote in my mouth for shutter, metering and focus. That’s it. Unfortunately its been so long since I’ve had anything I’ve considered worthy of upload here. My main reasons are the amount I shake makes clear photos difficult, and I’ve never been satisfied with a single action shot (which I’m really gunning for) because I can’t follow an aircraft lol. Its out of my FOV so fast and since I can’t drive my chair with a camera in my hands, its over lol.

I’m maybe thinking a shooting session with another spotter may help me find solutions to some of my issues. If anybody is interested in setting something up, let me know. This May I’ll be on Classic Jet Tours’ DC-8 Combi charter out of Sacramento so a meeting on that trip would be excellent if anyone here is going. Otherwise, I live in Indianapolis, but can travel to places like MDW, ORD, SDF, DAY, CMH, etc. Maybe even further if I get together with a pilot I’m comfortable with going far from home in my Cherokee Six…we’ll see.

I thought of posting this because of a rejection I just received (which none of the issues actually had anything to do with my limitations) which I’ll link below in a reply.

I’m not exactly sure what I can ask of you guys here – but I’m sure there's advice to be had in here somewhere   Just kinda needed somewhere to vent and ask for a further point of view.

Thanks again guys.

Indianapolis, IN
Topic Author
Posts: 613
Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2000 7:33 am

RE: Spotting With A Disability

Fri Mar 30, 2012 2:55 am

Post Screening - Lighting (by Accidentally Mar 29 2012 in Photography Feedback)
Indianapolis, IN
User avatar
Posts: 1202
Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2009 3:50 am

RE: Spotting With A Disability

Fri Mar 30, 2012 4:31 am

Not long ago I was looking at a charter for air to ground photography. One helicopter company had in addition to charter services, rental of stabilizing gyros.

I have no idea if this will help you, but perhaps check this link:

Would love to see some stuff from you.

Improvise, adapt, overcome.
Topic Author
Posts: 613
Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2000 7:33 am

RE: Spotting With A Disability

Sat Mar 31, 2012 12:23 am

Thank you...that is a pretty cool peice of kit and really doesn't look large or heavy enough to be out of question. I appreciate the tip.

If you search the database for Cory Crabtree, I was a C5-C6 quadriplegic while shooting them all.

BTW...if any of you guys need an aircraft to shoot A/A from in Indiana, I have a wonderful Cherokee Six with the large rear (legally) removeable door I'd love to offer for rent or who knows...maybe borrow (excluding costs, of course) since it might be fun. Shout my way. Email [email protected] Its my spam address so I only check it monthly or so, sorry.
Indianapolis, IN
Posts: 3874
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2002 10:43 pm

RE: Spotting With A Disability

Sat Mar 31, 2012 4:35 am

Cory, I'd love to help you out. I have a few friends who have worked on a few elaborate shooting situations that may also be able to come up with a solution for you hopefully. Please shoot me an email, phil at nycaviation dot com.

We'll multily your anet acceptances soon enough!
Phil Derner Jr.
Posts: 544
Joined: Wed Apr 05, 2006 2:36 am

RE: Spotting With A Disability

Sat Mar 31, 2012 1:12 pm


something like a Manfrotto super clamp & magic arm that can attach to the frame of your wheelchair might be beneficial, even if it's just to support the weight of the camera for you.
Another thing that might help would be a wireless remote shutter release that could be attached to the operating handle of your wheel chair.

Hope this gives you some ideas.


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