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FORUMS General Gear Talk DIY & Customizing 
Thread started 17 Sep 2016 (Saturday) 22:23
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Floating blind

 
Levina ­ de ­ Ruijter
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Nov 05, 2016 12:37 as a reply to  @ post 18176589 |  #16

It's those unexpected drop-offs I'd be afraid of when wearing waders. But, as your platform is floating and looks firm I take it you can use it as a support whilst exploring the ground beneath you so your whole weight isn't on your feet?


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ShadowHillsPhoto
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Nov 06, 2016 09:18 |  #17

Got the blind on the water this morning, it worked as expected and I'm quite happy with it. Happy to report no leaks in the new pair of waders I just bought also. Now I just need something to take pictures of.

IMAGE: https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5339/30815561745_c87b0dbd02_o.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/NX4N​UH  (external link) Blind test-5683 (external link) by Shadow Hills Photography (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://c1.staticflickr.com/6/5453/30779109736_ed79627d7d_o.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/NTQY​ZN  (external link) Blind test-5678 (external link) by Shadow Hills Photography (external link), on Flickr

It's plenty buoyant and stable enough to take all of my weight. I'm going to make a paddle a regular part of my kit with this and I wouldn't hesitate to cross a small body of water with it.

IMAGE: https://c5.staticflickr.com/6/5600/30779108676_08d2268c6b_o.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/NTQY​Fw  (external link) Blind test-5685 (external link) by Shadow Hills Photography (external link), on Flickr

I didn't have anything particularly compelling to photograph today but here's a shot of a beaver lodge just to show unique perspective you get shooting this low to the water.

IMAGE: https://c7.staticflickr.com/6/5714/30183782014_34f57fde9f_o.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/MZeL​NJ  (external link) Beaver lodge-7983 (external link) by Shadow Hills Photography (external link), on Flickr

A few things that I learned this morning:

- I was planning to add a handle to the deck at some point and I definitely need to, just for dragging the blind back up on shore if nothing else
- I need to pick up a pair of waterproof gloves. Sliding on and off of the blind gets the deck pretty wet.
- One reason I made the deck so big was to have a place to bring along some extra gear, I'll need a dry bag or some other way to keep stuff from getting wet.
- I still haven't weighed the blind but it's heavy. It's right about at the limit of what I can put up onto the roof of my SUV without help. Sticking it in the bed of a pickup would be a lot easier. That said, once it's on the water the size/weight is a huge plus, it's incredibly stable.



  
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recrisp
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Nov 06, 2016 11:42 |  #18

Perfect! I was hoping that all of your hard work wasn't for naught. :) (I didn't really have any doubts)

One thing I see that when you're bending over to shoot, at least at that depth) do you think that will be the norm, depth-wise? The reason I ask is, that looks like it's the most uncomfortable position in the world, at least for me. I realize that you may not be taking all of your shots like that, but for me, if I saw a duck and I took 300 shots of it I would be hurting, of course I am a LOT older than you, but even when I was your age my back wouldn't like that for very long. I'm not shooting holes in it, I'm only thinking out loud.

I can't remember or not, but do you plan on placing even very short rails/stops on it? That would definitely prevent even the smallest or largest thing from going overboard, waterproof or not.

I really do like the stability and buoyancy if it all too, and, I agree with what you are planning on adding too, those are good ideas, not that you needed my agreeing with you. :)

The low angle really does help, it should make your effort all worth the money and time invested.

Thank you for posting this, it will help those that need one, or help someone along with a similar idea.

Be sure to look at YouTube at ways to put on heavy kayaks on SUV's n'stuff, just using a bathroom mat alone will help you get that heavy thing on there, they roll like they're greased! :)

Randy


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ShadowHillsPhoto
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Nov 06, 2016 12:11 as a reply to  @ recrisp's post |  #19

The ideal depth is a bit deeper, that just happened to be how deep it was where I needed to be to get in front of my other camera which was already set up on shore. Getting closer to shore where you can either kneel or sit also worked really well.

I may secure something like a milk crate to the rear deck area. Mostly I need to bring along my teleconverters which can go in a small Pelican case, and that would float if it went overboard anyway.




  
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recrisp
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Nov 06, 2016 13:43 as a reply to  @ ShadowHillsPhoto's post |  #20

I'm just glad that you took the time to get the shots that you did, I think that they came out really well, 'specially remotely.
If you screwed little rectangular blocks of wood on each corner to contain the milk crate that would keep it from sliding, a bungee would hold it tight, I 'magine. Each corner would be shaped as |_ if that makes sense.

Thanks again for posting all of this, even if I never make it I always enjoy seeing someone that shows us what they are doing, plus, they do a good job of conveying that, and you it all very well.

By the way, that last shot of yours that you said doesn't have anything in it, you may want to look again, I see a Bigfoot crouched in the background looking at you! :twisted:

Randy


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cheffievrs
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Nov 06, 2016 15:46 |  #21

I think you've done a fantastic job, can't wait to see some more pictures.


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Levina ­ de ­ Ruijter
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Nov 06, 2016 16:13 |  #22

That looks really good, Ryan. The low viewpoint is wonderful!
I am wondering though, since it almost is a raft already, wouldn't it have been more comfortable to make it so you could simply lie on it? Float all the way, say?


Levina
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ShadowHillsPhoto
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Nov 06, 2016 17:47 as a reply to  @ Levina de Ruijter's post |  #23

I considered something like that, but there's a couple problems with it. Lying on a perfectly flat surface and needing to elevate your head and shoulders to the camera is not comfortable at all, you would need to build some kind of ramp or wedge to lay on. Even then, you may be laying like that for several hours, just holding your head up in that position gets tiring after a while. Part of the point of this design is also to be able to slowly approach subjects, as a raft the only way you can move is to sit up and paddle, and at that point you've lost your ability to sneak up on anything. Also, once your feet aren't in contact with the bottom you are at the mercy of any little breeze that comes along so you would need to start thinking about an anchoring system too.




  
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mkkaczy
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Nov 11, 2016 10:05 |  #24

ShadowHillsPhoto with an angle viewfinger and turning gimbal arm upside down , you could go even lower.

Levina
I am wearing almost same clothes as ShadowHillsPhoto.
http://photography-on-the.net …showthread.php?​p=17547142
Remember not to eat and especially do not drink anything before you get in to the water, or your bladder will ask you to leave the cold water quickly. And it's not easy to get out of all the clothes.

And another very important thing guys. Always wear a life jacket on you. Last year a young guy from our forum dedicated to wildlife photography drown in such floating platform.

Here are some of our ideas for DIY floating platforms. Some are quite big and some are small and foldable.
http://www.fotoprzyrod​a.pl …C5%82ywaj%C4%85​ca/page-36 (external link)


http://500px.com/mkkac​zy (external link)

  
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Levina ­ de ­ Ruijter
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Nov 11, 2016 10:59 |  #25

Oh man, I never got a notification for ShadowHillsPhoto's last reply. That happens regularly since I switched to El Capitan (Mac OS). I apologise, Ryan, I didn't know you had replied.

ShadowHillsPhoto wrote in post #18177612 (external link)
I considered something like that, but there's a couple problems with it. Lying on a perfectly flat surface and needing to elevate your head and shoulders to the camera is not comfortable at all, you would need to build some kind of ramp or wedge to lay on. Even then, you may be laying like that for several hours, just holding your head up in that position gets tiring after a while. Part of the point of this design is also to be able to slowly approach subjects, as a raft the only way you can move is to sit up and paddle, and at that point you've lost your ability to sneak up on anything. Also, once your feet aren't in contact with the bottom you are at the mercy of any little breeze that comes along so you would need to start thinking about an anchoring system too.

Some good points there. Although I agree with mkkaczy that an angle viewfinder could help with the neck/head problem. But yeah, paddling and drifting would be a problem indeed.

mkkaczy wrote in post #18181691 (external link)
ShadowHillsPhoto with an angle viewfinger and turning gimbal arm upside down , you could go even lower.

Levina
I am wearing almost same clothes as ShadowHillsPhoto.
http://photography-on-the.net …showthread.php?​p=17547142
Remember not to eat and especially do not drink anything before you get in to the water, or your bladder will ask you to leave the cold water quickly. And it's not easy to get out of all the clothes.

And another very important thing guys. Always wear a life jacket on you. Last year a young guy from our forum dedicated to wildlife photography drown in such floating platform.

Here are some of our ideas for DIY floating platforms. Some are quite big and some are small and foldable.
http://www.fotoprzyrod​a.pl …C5%82ywaj%C4%85​ca/page-36 (external link)

Not eating and drinking before getting into the water is pretty good advice. Good advice on the life jacket too. Thanks for the link. Everybody seems to be making their own personal floating blind. Some great stuff in that thread!


Levina
Please quote when responding to a post!!!
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My flickr (external link)

  
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johnf3f
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Nov 20, 2016 19:43 as a reply to  @ ShadowHillsPhoto's post |  #26

That looks like a very well thought out design to me. Nice low setting of the camera but you have left room for shooting at a reasonably high angle if necessary.

I would, however make one suggestion. Given that you will be using this hide for extended periods - probably in the cold - what about a cup holder? Got to have a nice hot cuppa on a winter's day;-)a

Nice design and thanks for sharing.


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bmackinnonphotography
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Nov 23, 2016 13:45 |  #27

mkkaczy wrote in post #18181691 (external link)
ShadowHillsPhoto with an angle viewfinger and turning gimbal arm upside down , you could go even lower.

Levina
I am wearing almost same clothes as ShadowHillsPhoto.
http://photography-on-the.net …showthread.php?​p=17547142
Remember not to eat and especially do not drink anything before you get in to the water, or your bladder will ask you to leave the cold water quickly. And it's not easy to get out of all the clothes.

And another very important thing guys. Always wear a life jacket on you. Last year a young guy from our forum dedicated to wildlife photography drown in such floating platform.

Here are some of our ideas for DIY floating platforms. Some are quite big and some are small and foldable.
http://www.fotoprzyrod​a.pl …C5%82ywaj%C4%85​ca/page-36 (external link)

What are the dimensions of the floating blind you use? can it hold your body if you need it to?




  
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mkkaczy
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Nov 24, 2016 03:09 |  #28

bmackinnonphotography wrote in post #18192728 (external link)
What are the dimensions of the floating blind you use? can it hold your body if you need it to?

1. Can't remember exactly, but around 90cmx130cm. If you thinking about building your own one, the width should be around from elbow to elbow. The length should should give you free movement, that you will not touch/push the camouflage mesh when you walk. But enough room to somehow stretch you bones. Also not too long, that you will easily turn around without making a big wave.
2. The floating hide is designed to carry the camera equipment only, but it could hold my body. However it is used for shallow water only, between my waist and chest.


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Luckless
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Nov 25, 2016 08:28 |  #29

How about adding a hanging seat that you could sit on that would hold you up at the correct eye level height for where you want to be? (Maybe a small paddle strapped to the deck as well for times if you drift into water that is too deep to still walk in, or where bottoms become too muddy to easily move over.)

You could just 'sit down' and nudge your position with your toes or heels when you're in water that is too deep to kneel in but too shallow to comfortably squat in.


As for getting the thing back up on your SUV: How about building some manner of davit and maybe a skid-plate/load ramp onto your roof rack? Would let you readily lift it up with a suitable crank setup rather than trying to hoist it up by pure strength. I've seen more than a few dented body panels and even smashed windows from people lifting 'small' boats and the like onto a roof and losing control over them.


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johnf3f
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Nov 25, 2016 19:40 as a reply to  @ Luckless's post |  #30

Nah! Forget all of that, just fit a mini bar:twisted:


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