Loading... Please wait...


​'Pack Rafting' with Dinkum Systems

Posted by

Dinkum Systems Founder and Emmy award-winning cinematographer John Mans reports from the field:

I worked on a Travel Channel show called, "Alaska - Water and Ice" that aired recently. The network people really liked a couple of the segments that I shot, and Dinkum Systems had much to do with the footage we got.

The show is about what you can do for fun in remote areas of Alaska. It's a 1-hour; there are around eight segments which run 4-5 minutes each; and the producers gave my small team just one day to shoot each segment.

One of my segments was about packrafting which required our five person crew - DP, B-cam, Producer, Audio and one PA - to hike a few miles up a valley carrying two Canon C300's, two Canon 5D's, a DJI Osmo, a slo-mo Sony FS700, a drone, several GoPro's, mounts, lights, and a JIB, all the while shooting along the way.

To achieve the jib shots, I used a 25' carbon fiber pole from an old Polecam, and clamped my Osmo onto the end using an ActionPod PRO.  I used another ActionPod on the back to hold my monitor / controller (simply using my iPhone), and put a bag full of rocks on the tail as counter-balance.  It worked like a charm!  The jib arm was able to reach far out into the river, and we came away with beautiful shots that could be very close to the rafters, and then pull up to the height of a drone shot.

The other uses for the ActionPod's were the 5D time lapse shots.  While they may not look like it, ActionPod's are plenty strong enough to hold a 5D, comfortably bearing 3lbs / 1.5kg vertically.  So, as the main camera was working on a scene, I had my B-camera guy throw a 5D and intervalometer onto a fallen branch to knock out an easy time lapse.

When the rafters did their descent, we screwed GoPros (using inexpensive tripod adaptors) onto the ActionPod's, which proved to be essential for mounting cameras onto the unstable packrafts.  We got a good bite onto the skirts with the super strong spring clamp, and backed them up with some twisty-ties through the secondary safety holes we have on the tops and clamps before sending the guys downriver.  We instructed the rafters to roll the mounted cameras for awhile before popping apart the ActionPod arms to hand-hold a series, and they came back with great POV shots.

Dinkum Systems accessories always come in SUPER handy for creative shots in very remote places!


Don't Let Rain Stop Play!

Dinkum Systems Founder and Emmy award-winning cinematographer John Mans reports from the field:This week I'm up in Anchorage, Alaska shooting an HGTV show, and while it's beautiful up north, we're dealing with shoot days where it's just rain, rain, rain... Given that we can't change our schedule around, we just have to deal with the wet conditions.The DJI Osmo [...]

Read More »

Game of Thrones Behind-The-Scenes

There are many reasons why we love getting messages from customers and friends who snap a photo when they "spot a Dinkum” on productions large and small, and this image has particularly tickled our fancy.Caught on a behind-the-scenes HBO special for the incredible series Game of Thrones, it shows the wonderful actress Emilia Clarke in full splendor as the character [...]

Read More »

​How To Get Amazing SUP Shots with Dinkum Systems

Stand Up Paddle Boarding with Dinkum Systems in Travel Channel's new special, "Alaska - Water and Ice"Travel Channel is airing a special this month called, "Alaska - Water and Ice", and I was lucky enough to shoot a couple of the segments. One of the challenging shoots was stand up paddle boarding (SUP) around icebergs just outside of [...]

Read More »

Jibs with DSLR and Lightweight Cameras Need Lens Protection Too!

With so many lightweight cranes available these days, jibs seem to be coming back into vogue.Producers who were enamored with drones a few years ago are often taken aback when they see a shot that starts high in a tree and sweeps gracefully through the branches for an establishing shot.  We seem to have forgotten the beauty of [...]

Read More »

What's the easiest way to mount an LED panel, you ask? Let us tell you!

Dinkum Systems Founder and Emmy award-winning cinematographer John Mans shares his thoughts on how the new era of lightweight LED Panels has made our range even more useful, giving you an easy way to solve the onset challenge of quickly mounting lights in a variety of spaces…                  [...]

Read More »

A clever mounting solution for your smart security system...

Probably the only thing worse than feeling insecure is actually being insecure.Luckily there are great security monitoring products out there like this one from Arlo Smart Home which partner brilliantly with our patented, length adjustable clamping mounts.  In a fast-paced world, it can only be a good thing to be able to quickly and easily mount security [...]

Read More »

Farewell to our Sales Manager Dave...

Just over three years ago, an old University mate of our Chief of Operations came to visit the States for a holiday. A strange set of circumstances resulted in an unexpected road trip; which turned into what was perhaps the world's longest ever job interview; and Dave Ball left the country with the promise of [...]

Read More »

The best lightweight, mobile lens shade for DSLR and video cameras - not your average lens hood!

Our Compact lens shade is sometimes underestimated by photographers accustomed to traditional lens hoods, but it’s often the most-used Dinkum Systems product in many people’s kit.The unique shoe mount means that the Compact can be attached to a DSLR or small video camera and kept there even when not in use without getting in the way. [...]

Read More »

“Get the French flag!” A history of Dinkum Systems lens shades

With powder-coated aluminum shades and plastic arms and mounts, camera operators and photographers use the lightweight but tough Dinkum Systems CINE, PRO, and Compact lens shades for protecting their cameras from dust and drizzle as well as stray light. Dinkum founder, Emmy award-winning cinematographer John Mans explains how the original Dinkum lens shade came about. Back in 1995 I [...]

Read More »