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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2018 4:13 am 
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Fledgling
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Hi everyone,

I am planning to do some very high tree work (50ft+) in high mountain ash forest over the next week or so, looking for some of the most amazing Australian possums and other tree dwelling marsupials. The problem is attaching to a tree branch. I want to have the camera looking along the branch towards the trunk but about a foot out from the branch to the side.

We have been trying to weld an articulated arm but need some considerable locking capability to counteract the leverage of a 8lb camera+case.

Is there a ready made or easily modified option anyone else uses?

Possible species:

Brush tailed phascogale,
yellow bellied glider
sugar glider
greater glider
feathertail glider
eastern pygmy possum
common brushtail possum
mountain brushtail possum
common ringtail possum

I'll be getting up there using arborist gear, should be exciting!

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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2018 8:37 am 
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Fledgling
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:02 pm
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I have done some canopy camera trapping between 20m and 27m inthe Peruvian amazon. One thing to take into consideration is that the wind is often alot stronger higher up and it can move equipment around. I found that attaching the camera directly to the branch worked best rather than moving it off the branch as it then needs a much stronger anchor point and is not as easily moved by wind.
IF you do find something strong enough to hold the camera you would likley need to bolt it onto the main tree trunk looking out along the branch you wish to photograph as it will provide a nice strong anchor point.
Hope to see some awesome results !


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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2018 9:34 am 
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Heavy long eye bolt screwed into the limb and bolted through the eye to the bottom of your pelican. Also works with short eye bolt and ram mounts if you have them. insurance- tie the Pelican to limb with small piece of rope through the handle in case of bolt failure.

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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2018 10:03 am 
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Location: Central Saskatchewan, Canada
This sounds interesting and exciting ... can wait to see some pictures.


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PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2018 10:02 am 
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Location: Magalia, California
I've used Gartooth's method -- a lag screw set in the limb with attached mount. Another set that works and doesn't move as much as a limb -- strap the camera to the main trunk and aimed out along the limb. Animals come and go but the traffic will be head on. RAM ball and socket mounts have clamps for motorcycle handlebars. They are easy to adapt for arboreal mounts and strong and easy to use. You'll have to haul an electric drill up into the tree to anchor the base plate with screws (hexheads work best).

I also have the kind of jointed arm you mention. Home made. It straps on with three short legs. The elbows can be adjusted to set the camera over a wide range. Mammals and birds perch on it. Good for photographing cavity nesting birds.


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PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2018 1:57 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2015 2:58 pm
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I do a lot of canopy filming and photography though haven't done camera trapping aloft yet. Usually I go to great lengths to avoid damaging the tree by screwing things in (often I'm working in places where that isn't allowed). The simplest and easiest solution I have come up with is three scrap pieces of 1"x4" or 1"x6" Make them 6-8" long. Lay them next to each other and then fasten an inexpensive hinge between the boards. This gives you a center board with two wings that fold down and around. In your center board drill a hole that you can run a screw through to whatever you want to mount (1/4" or 3/8" typically). When you get into the field, lay your center board on top of the branch, let the two side boards fold down around the branch and then take a ratchet strap and wrap it around the boards/branch and tighten it up. Depending on the width of your boards you can cover a wide variety of branch sizes. You can also use a scrap of carpet or rubber (a friend chopped up a cheap old yoga mat for this purpose) between the branch and the wood to increase friction and reduce wear on the branch. If you need a small branch then something like a RAM handlebar mount works great. A branch the size is going to end up moving on you anyway if you have a camera. Also, look at Super Clamps made by Bogen/Manfrotto/Avenger and probably a bunch of chinese knockoffs on amazon. They work great for branches up to about 2 or 3". For extending out away from a branch, Magic Arms are good but probably wouldn't work for a camera horizontally (vertical you are good though). They work great for positioning flashes or triggers/sensors that are not so heavy.

As much as I've used these wooden mounts, I'm not sure if I have a photo handy. I may add some photos when I have a chance to look through my archives. They are great for traveling as they just lay flat in the bottom of a suitcase or you can take the straps and the hardware and buy some scrap lumber when you arrive.


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