A few weeks prior to the surgery that has my right arm immobilized for the next 4 weeks, I began researching how I could shoot with my left hand so to avoid having to set up every shot on a tripod. My first thought was to rent a left-handed camera body for the next month…problem solved. Except…the major camera companies do not mass-produced cameras with left-handed controls. You can custom order one, it takes months to build and will cost you 10x the regular retail price. That obviously was not an option.
I then headed to the internet for answers. I searched the techie sites and bulletin boards for practical solutions to the left-handed dilemma to very unsatisfying results. Most people’s best suggestion was some kind of modified Jimi Hendrix variation that included flipping the camera upside down. This is all well and good with a 6 ounce point and shoot camera but not really an option with a heavy DSLR.
So, I started digging through my piles of camera gear and all the gadgets I have amassed over the years and found a very simple solution to my seemingly complex problem. I found my flash mounting bracket and a remote shutter release and came up with the configuration pictured here. First, I removed the bulky battery grip from the camera. Then, I removed the hinged part of the bracket that attached to the flash leaving only the L shaped handle which easily screws into the bottom of the camera. I swung the L handle to the left side of the camera. I then plugged in the shutter cable which was easily long enough to reach my right arm in the sling. The remote switch can utilize the auto focus the same as the shutter button on the camera. I obviously have to struggle a bit to adjust the shutter and aperture while shooting but if really pressed I can tether the camera to the computer, call out my readings and have my assistant change the settings remotely. It seemed really good on paper.
I tried it out yesterday to amazing results. I had no unmanageable issues using this setup and felt relieved knowing that the next weeks will be without considerable struggle to get my work done.
I also thought that for shooters who cannot use their right hand to trigger the camera, simply taping the shutter release to the bracket handle could also work pretty well. So, its said that necessity is the mother of invention…well, I think in this case it was more like adaptation was the brother of invention. Problem actually solved.