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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

backboard remotes
Scott Thornton, Student/Intern
towson | md | usa | Posted: 2:13 PM on 01.05.08
->> i want to set up a remote camera on the backboard but i am not sure how it is done. i have searched the board but can not find any info on it. can someone help lead me in the correct direction?
thanks
scott
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Jason Watson, Photographer
Charlottesville | VA | USA | Posted: 2:21 PM on 01.05.08
->> http://www.sportsshooter.com/news/1062
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Scott Thornton, Student/Intern
towson | md | usa | Posted: 2:26 PM on 01.05.08
->> thanks jason, just what i needed
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Chuck Steenburgh, Photographer
Lexington | VA | USA | Posted: 3:29 PM on 01.05.08
->> Scott,

I recently set up my first backboard remote based on that article, and here are a few problems I ran into:

- I had issues with reflections from *above* as well as below. I need to make a second gobo, I guess.
- Not all backboards are built alike. Where I was shooting, there was no practical way to attach a Magic Arm as described. I had to mount mine higher up.
- If possible, try to do as much of the work of mounting with the backboard in the lowered position. Especially the way my backboard was constructed, it was an extremely difficult job up on the ladder. You'll want to have it raised to confirm composition, of course, but do as much as you can 'on the ground' if possible. (I went in the night before, with the coach & SID's permission.)

I've created a small gallery showing my set up and results. Obviously I need to work on adjusting my point of focus better (this was made all the more difficult by the fact the backboard construction didn't allow me to climb up to where I could accurately judge focus). I'd appreciate any other comments from the more experienced members.

http://www.sportsshooter.com/keydet/bbremote/
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Patrick Fallon, Student/Intern, Photographer
Columbia | MO | USA | Posted: 4:14 PM on 01.05.08
->> few thoughts from my limited trials with them

Make sure you have the gobo. Its not optional. Same with safety cables.

If you can, using two magic arms will be helpful in keeping the camera in perfect position longer [as will the safety cables], with all the vibrations from players dunking, etc.

Some places will also require that you gaffer tape over the logos on your camera. Might as well do this as it is less distracting and gives people one less thing to complain about.

Good luck, have fun :)

Patrick
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Delane B. Rouse, Photographer, Photo Editor
Washington | DC | US | Posted: 9:05 PM on 01.05.08
->> Chuck-

(While there are no rules) when positioning the camera where you did, I think that the image would be better as a horizontal image.

You'll also make more images because with a vertical frame you're going to lose a lot of shots when players arms and the ball leave the frame.
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Christopher Szagola, Photographer
Richboro | PA | United States | Posted: 9:15 PM on 01.05.08
->> Also make sure you get permission and don't just go set it up. For if it's college ball, it might be tuff. For I have asked many, Big East, Drexel have both said no. A10 is a bit wishy washy. Haven't gotten a straight answer yet.

Best of luck if you get a chance too
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Mark McIntyre, Photographer
Greensboro | NC | USA | Posted: 9:40 PM on 01.05.08
->> Scott - 2 magic arms is a must. Don't forget to adjust your settings for shooting through smoked glass. You usually lose 1/2 to a full stop. I am normally on site 3-4 hours prior to the event for set up. Glass remotes always seem to take 30 minutes more to set up versus any other remotes.
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Chuck Steenburgh, Photographer
Lexington | VA | USA | Posted: 9:53 PM on 01.05.08
->> Delane - That was a crop; I was shooting horizontal at the wide end of an 18-50/f2.8 zoom. I have used vertical for a post cam before, that works OK.

Mark - I guess I don't understand how 2 Magic Arms would help. I mean, the camera only has one tripod socket. I've got two safety cables on my rig. What's the other Magic Arm for? Isn't that another piece of gear that could fail and possibly pull the other arm down with its weight & leverage?
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Delane B. Rouse, Photographer, Photo Editor
Washington | DC | US | Posted: 10:09 PM on 01.05.08
->> The other arm stabilizes the arm with the camera. Since the "main" arm has the camera+lens attached it moves more (greater "moment" of intertia since the camera/leans is at the END of the lever.

Try, it works.
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Brian Westerholt, Photographer
Kannapolis | NC | USA | Posted: 10:13 PM on 01.05.08
->> Chuck,

The second magic arm has 2 super clamps on it and no camera plate. As Delane and Mark have mentioned, you use the second magic arm to make extra damn sure the first one doesn't move. :-)
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Mark McIntyre, Photographer
Greensboro | NC | USA | Posted: 10:22 PM on 01.05.08
->> Chuck - During warm ups, players do a lot of hanging on the rim. Without the second magic arm there is a good chance of movement. The second one insures all your hard work will not go to waste.
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Patrick Fallon, Student/Intern, Photographer
Columbia | MO | USA | Posted: 10:43 PM on 01.05.08
->> "could fail and possibly pull the other arm down with its weight & leverage?"

You can position the 2nd arm above the camera, so it actually will hold it up should the other one fail/become loose. You still have safety cables either way.

Also.. surprise no one has mentioned this yet. But you [or your employer] needs to have liability insurance. 1M min. should some freak accident occur and it fall on someone or something below.

For anyone asking why all the precautions, double this and safety that? If someones rig was to fail at a game, injuring a player, it could cause the prohibition of the rigs for EVERYONE.
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Michael Fischer, Photographer
Spencer | Ia | USA | Posted: 2:06 AM on 01.07.08
->> Does anyone have a image showing how the second magic arm is deployed? IF so, please post it.
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Chris Williams, Photographer, Photo Editor
Stevenson Ranch | CA | USA | Posted: 3:20 AM on 01.07.08
->> I'm hoping to do a small video tutorial on this shortly even though I have limited experience doing one, but the second arm is attached via a super clamp to the arm holding the camera.

So to try and give a better mental picture for now:

1. Super clamp attached somewhere behind the backboard, magic arm connected, camera platform attached, camera attached.

2. The second magic arm has TWO (2) super clamps attached. One clamp is secured to somewhere behind the backboard, the other clamp attaches to the ARM of the magic arm with your camera. It's best to use the arm that is nearest the camera.


This way the whole second magic arm/super clamp rig is the safety line essentially to the rig with the camera on it and also stiffens everything up to minimize movement to almost nothing. Only time I've even had my camera flinch was when a stray ball came straight down on top of it. Even then my rig was still 100% secure and it didn't knock it out of alignment enough to ruin shots.

This was mentioned before, but make sure you black out with tape everything on your camera and all the non black metal on your rig that shows through the backboard is the best way to go to avoid any potential distraction it may cause.

Chris
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Rob Ericson, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | USA | Posted: 10:31 AM on 01.07.08
->> Regarding gobos: When the camera is mounted behind the lower part of the backboard and to one side of the rim, I've run the gobo from the bottom of the camera to the bottom of the backboard. In Chuck's photo of his set up, the camera is mounted behind the higher part of the backboard. With that set up, do you run the gobo all the way to the bottom of the backboard?
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David Johnson, Photographer
Social Circle (Atlanta) | GA | USA | Posted: 12:48 PM on 01.07.08
->> The purpose of the gobo is to eliminate reflected light (light reflected on the same side of the backboard as the lens). The gobo needs to extend away from the lens and to the backboard only far enough to prevent it from being shown in the image too.

After setting it up, you will need to check your shot visually through the viewfinder and with test shots to confirm the gobo doesn't show.

How big should the gobo be? Depends how far back from the glass your lens is and how wide of a lens you are using. But don't bogart the glass with a huge gobo.

David
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Jordan Murph, Student/Intern, Photographer
Honolulu & Los Angeles | HI/CA | USA | Posted: 8:02 PM on 01.07.08
->> "Does anyone have a image showing how the second magic arm is deployed? IF so, please post it."

http://www.sportsshooter.com/news_pix/1062_4.jpeg

http://www.sportsshooter.com/news/1062
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Robert Hanashiro, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | | Posted: 8:23 PM on 01.07.08
->> Also make sure you have a proof of lability insurance filed with the team, arena or school.

Even if they have not specifically told you it is required, it is best to have insurance. Most, if not all arenas require a certificate of insurance to be filed before each season.

If you have not done this, you should discuss this with your publication's business or office manager.

USA TODAY carries a policy and I also pay to have a separate policy on myself as well.

It's called "insurance" for a good reason.
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Chuck Steenburgh, Photographer
Lexington | VA | USA | Posted: 3:05 AM on 01.10.08
->> I tried to decipher the photos in the Miho article to figure out why there were so many knobs...but it's not very clear how the second Magic Arm is being used. And note the article itself only specifies *one* Magic Arm is required.

FWIW, there was a lot of dunking and rim-hanging when my rig was up there, no problems. I suppose a second arm could help; but I've rigged single arms in a lot of strange places (always safety-cabled) and never had any problems from lots of movement and vibration.

And yes, I'm insured for liability...I wouldn't try this sort of thing without it.
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David Manning, Photographer
Athens | GA | | Posted: 1:14 PM on 01.10.08
->> I had no troubles trying it after i read the Miho article about 17 times and preparing thoroughly. The hardest part was finding the ladder in the arena (as well as actually having the players in the shot). I used one magic arm, double-safety cabled.
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George Bridges, Photographer, Photo Editor
Washington | DC | USA | Posted: 2:25 PM on 01.10.08
->> Chuck,

Deciphering the photos in Miho's article.

The photo with the caption "getting close" shows the camera is supported by the arm clamped where the backboard support meets the glass.

The photo captioned "finishing touches" shows the second arm clamped to the support rail and Shawn attaching the other end with another clamp on it to the first arm for that secondary support.
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Chuck Steenburgh, Photographer
Lexington | VA | USA | Posted: 7:07 PM on 01.10.08
->> George,

Now that I look REALLY, REALLY closely at the "finishing touches" photo, I see what threw me off: it was the tightening knob in the foreground. I could see that was obviously for something else, and so dimissed the thought there was a second clamp involved...I didn't realize that clamp #1 could no longer be seen in that photo. I saw clamp #2 and was thinking it was clamp #1 (with a mystery tightening wheel under his right hand).

Still...the article never mentioned a second clamp. Not that I'm complaining or that it matters a whole lot - I think one works, two might be better, and the article was indeed enough to get me where I wanted to be (along with what little common sense I possess).

:)

Chuck
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Kyle Nosal, Photographer
Frederick | MD | USA | Posted: 1:25 PM on 01.11.08
->> On a related note... I'm trying to set up my remote to also set off a pair of strobes. I am using 2 pw multimax's and 2 pw plus II. Is it possible to do this using a plus II in my hand, with the relay mode set on the max on the remote, and a max and plus II on each strobe? any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Please email me at

knosal@gmail.com

Thanks.

Kyle Nosal
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Kyle Nosal, Photographer
Frederick | MD | USA | Posted: 1:33 PM on 01.11.08
->> Nevermind. some playing around got it to work. Thanks.

Kyle
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Rob Edwards, Photographer
Peru | IN | United States | Posted: 2:10 PM on 01.11.08
->> Nice to see this thread on here today. I'm going to try this tonight at a local high school basketball game. I look over the Mihlo article a number of times only to think like most that there was only one clamp. I don't think that I will have alot of dunking going on in the game, so i ask, is only using one magic arm a two safety cables ok? And also, where is the best place to put the safety cables on camera and backboard?
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Darrell Miho, Photographer
Temple City | CA | usa | Posted: 5:18 PM on 01.11.08
->> *BUSTED*
ok...as the author of the backboard remote story, i never used 2 variable friction/magic arms. hence, there is no mention of two. shawn cullen provided the photos that illustrate the story and the photos were added some time after the story was written. shawn used two, which is a good recommendation.

the one major drawback of using one arm is stability...not safety. the second arm will help lock the camera into the exact position you want to shoot from much more easily than if you were just using one. with only one arm, i had to do a lot of fiddling, tightening, loosening and retightening of the variable friction knob before i could get it into the correct position. after awhile, i got used to tightening the variable friction knob and allowing the camera and arm to "settle" into position. after that a lot of gaffers tape and a safety cables were used to stabilize the arm and esentially lock the camera into place.

between myself and the photographer, we were both pretty anal about safety and stability and to the best of my knowledge, the camera never got knocked out of position. i wish i had photos of the tape job we did. sometimes it was an art form.

as for the gobo...
if you are placing your remote camera from a higher angle, do not extend the gobo all the way to the bottom of the backboard. you want to keep your gobo to a minimum. trust me...you don't want anyone asking you to take down your remote 10 minutes before game time because your gobo is blocking the view of tv or fans.

for those of you that missed it in the story...
"If your camera is higher on the backboard and it is unfeasible to tape your gobo to the bottom of the backboard, then you can tape it to the glass, but instead of using the black tape, use the scotch tape. Black tape will leave a visible white line (from the adhesive) on the players' side of the backboard and will most likely not be allowed. "

as for where to put the safety cables...
there are many different types of backboards. you'll just have to use common sense to figure out how to rig your safeties to keep anything from falling down.

to make it easier to attach safety cables to your camera, use key rings in the strap loop on the camera and attach the safety cable to the key ring.

hope this helps. good luck and happy shooting!
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Gil Batzri, Photographer, Assistant
Oakland | CA | USA | Posted: 7:46 PM on 01.11.08
->> I found an easy way to check the position/focus etc is to shoot a few tethered shots (easier even, if you have two folks) you need a nice long firewire cable, which can be gotten from ebay cheaply if you don't have one.

good shooting!
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David Manning, Photographer
Athens | GA | | Posted: 10:11 PM on 01.11.08
->> ... Or you could always just move the ladder to the front of the rim where you want the player to be and push the button and go back and chimp..... Cheaper then a super long cable. Plus you get a funny photo to show your friends.
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Todd Bennett, Photographer
Nashville | TN | USA | Posted: 12:12 AM on 01.12.08
->> Here’s a few other tips to go along with Darrell’s post.

As Darrell said, keep the gobo to a minimum. If you have to attach it to the glass, use scotch tape or black electrical tape. Make sure the gobo doesn’t have any sharp edges. (Tape over it with gaffers tape if you have to.)

Attach a split ring to your camera. For added safety, use a hose clamp to attach a d-ring to your variable friction arms. Thread your safety cable through all of the rings. Make sure there is very little slack in your cable. If it does fall, you don’t want it to go very far.

To keep from being too much of a distraction, and if you’re really anal, you can use black safety cables. You can buy black ones or just spray paint them.

As far as focusing, bring a fedex box with you. Have someone stand in front of the goal, holding the box vertically. Use this as your focus point.

Mount your pocket wizard on the post, not on your camera. Those plastic feet break off real easy. Run an extension cable back to your pocket wizard. You can buy an audio extension cable from Radio Shack for about $4.

Finally, use a pair of channel lock pliers to tighten down the twist knobs on your clamps and the camera platform. After a few good dunks, these can become loose.

I’ve created a gallery with some of the items mentioned above,
http://www.sportsshooter.com/toddbennett/remotes/

Hope this helps.
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Scott Gardner, Photographer
Athens | OH | USA | Posted: 10:14 PM on 11.16.08
->> Today was a "banner" day for me and my remote camera. Prior to the game, an official didn't like the traditional setup we all employ for the backboard remote. He said that the black gobo foil was a distraction and I had to remove the foil. He didn't have any problems with the camera but the black foil would affect the players shot. According to him, this has NEVER been done before at a college game and he officiates a lot of games around the country. I took down the foil but left the camera. Now the shots that I would like to post now have this beautiful reflection across the glass. Not sure which official orginally objected but beware of one these three: Kevin O'Connell, Jim Haney, or John LaRocca calling your games.
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Jesse Hutcheson, Student/Intern, Photographer
Newport News | va | United States | Posted: 10:04 AM on 11.21.08
->> http://www.sportsshooter.com/news/1062

Why is it important to have a "Magic Arm with the tightening knob and not the tightening lever." I have one with a lever and I planned to use it to shoot through the backboard tomorrow at a DIII game.
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George Bridges, Photographer, Photo Editor
Washington | DC | USA | Posted: 11:03 AM on 11.21.08
->> There are several problems with the lever.

One is it is harder to keep the camera in position you want while locking down the lever.

But one big thing is that if it is bumped hard enough the lever can come unlocked. Say the ball bounces over the backboard and hits the lever, it pops to the loose position and suddenly a camera is unsecured and swinging free.
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Patrick Fallon, Student/Intern, Photographer
Columbia | MO | USA | Posted: 11:24 AM on 11.21.08
->> Just another reminder Jesse to use multiple safety cables for your setup, especially if you use the lever for tomorrow. P
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Jesse Hutcheson, Student/Intern, Photographer
Newport News | va | United States | Posted: 7:01 PM on 11.21.08
->> I set it up today during their practice to work through the bugs...and after about 2 hours of them drunking on it hard throughout practice it stayed in place well. I'm pretty excited about tomorrow.

As for the safetly cables. I have one strung around the pole and through one of the holes in the magic arm's camera holder. But how exactly do you attach more?
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George Bridges, Photographer, Photo Editor
Washington | DC | USA | Posted: 7:52 PM on 11.21.08
->> Jesse,

Attach cables to the camera through the strap lugs. If your cable isn't small enough to go through the on-camera slits, use a heavy duty key ring from the hardware store to put on the camera and then loop the safety cable through them.
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Jesse Hutcheson, Student/Intern, Photographer
Newport News | va | United States | Posted: 9:04 PM on 11.21.08
->> dunk* not drunk*

George,
Thanks. great idea. sounds like i'll be at ACE hardware for a little while in the morning.
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Jesse Hutcheson, Student/Intern, Photographer
Newport News | va | United States | Posted: 9:51 PM on 11.21.08
->> Although I'm sure I know the answer...
The AD/Bball coach wasn't happy with where the camera was placed so he made me move it higher up. He would prefer it be invisible. So I did not add a "pre-made gobo." I have a link to an unedited image I got from the shoot. Is the reflection from not having it? I did not have a whole lot of time to play with it because I had to get to my track practice which is at the same time as their bball practice.

http://cnuphotos.com/images/remotepractice.jpg
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Patrick Fallon, Student/Intern, Photographer
Columbia | MO | USA | Posted: 10:21 PM on 11.21.08
->> YES>

You need the gobo! You can make a pretty decent one out of Gaffers tape and some paper [kind of paper doesn't matter, just cover it in gaffers tape - should you not have Roscoe Cinefoil, etc. You may also find that you have to put one on top of the camera as well as below in order to completely eliminate the reflections. Also don't forget some windex :)

Good luck!
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Kevin Seale, Photographer
Crawfordsville | IN | United States | Posted: 11:05 PM on 11.21.08
->> Jesse, It also looks like you sample shot is underexposed. Shooting through the glass will cost you 2/3 of a stop or so depending on how tinted the glass is.

Good luck with your live shots.
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Jason Ossey, Photographer, Student/Intern
Atlanta | GA | USA | Posted: 3:05 PM on 11.22.08
->> Bellow is a link to a image of a remote basket camera with a two magic arm setup without a gobo.

http://jasonossey.selfip.com/pixelpost_1.4.3/BBR.jpg

Also, bellow is a link to a PDF document sent to me by an ACC SID talking about basket remotes. How old or if this is a current document is unknown to me, it is just what I received.

http://jasonossey.selfip.com/pixelpost_1.4.3/acc_camera_placement.pdf
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Scott Gardner, Photographer
Athens | OH | USA | Posted: 5:20 PM on 01.05.09
->> Once again, I had a "run-in" with an official. After the game I had my original problems with the referee, I received this forwarded message from my facilities director that he received from the Conference office:
"Nothing May be affixed to any part of the backboard (front or back). Cameras can be mounted behind backboards; however, they must be affixed to the basket stanchion and cannot come into contact with the back of the glass. From the perspective of the free throw shooter, cameras should not be viewed behind the middle 36" of the backboard (standard backboard length is 72")."
So at Saturday's game, I set up another remote in the lower outside corner with a horizontal shield that was not visible from the court. Low and behold the same referee from the previous game was present and reported to the facilities director that I was NOT compliant to the rules but would let it slide this once. I'm just going to find out which games this official is working and not put up remotes that day.
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Delane B. Rouse, Photographer, Photo Editor
Washington | DC | US | Posted: 5:27 PM on 01.05.09
->> That acc_camera_placement.pdf document is interesting...every time I've set a remote behind the glass it's basically TOUCHING the glass. That's the way I see them done at every game.

Delane
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer
Durham | NC | USA | Posted: 6:05 PM on 01.05.09
->> delane, I think that's a new rule in the acc this year. they have also banned ALL remote camera's on floor plates. it's not been enforced yet but I'm waiting for the boom to be lowered soon.
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Mark McIntyre, Photographer
Greensboro | NC | USA | Posted: 8:07 PM on 01.05.09
->> Delane - I have not had a problem placing the camera millimeters away from the glass. The Cinefoil attaches at the base of the backboard. I am currently trying to create different low angle remotes due to the ACC restrictions on floor plates.
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Jason Ossey, Photographer, Student/Intern
Atlanta | GA | USA | Posted: 8:12 PM on 01.05.09
->> Those PDF documents were sent to me by an ACC SID at the beginning of the 2007 Men's Basketball Season.
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Thread Title: backboard remotes
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