As a photographer, I am always looking for ways of creating images that are truly unique. One way of doing so is shooting from an angle that nobody else can access. The most common way of doing this, is to use a Drone. However, Drone use is not only prohibited in certain areas, they can be quite costly and difficult to use. Now though, it looks like there might be a safe, affordable and easy solution. I tested out one of Broge’s composite poles, to see how it stacked up.
Aerial Photography - the hidden problem
Aerial Photography is not a new thing. However, consumer Drones have opened up the market to anyone and everyone. I myself am a Drone user and I am regularly impressed by the quality of content produced by other Drone users. However, I also see many who fail to abide by the ‘Drone Code’ a series of rules set out by the Civil Aviation Authority to encourage safe Drone usage. One of the main issues being the use of Drones in built-up areas.
As a Drone user, I have also been tempted by the desire to use a Drone to get truly unique vantage points over some of the city’s best buildings. However, the potential risks (not only the potential fines) are a moral deterrent. I certainly see how easy it would be for a ‘run away’ drone to potentially cause a huge accident, in particular if it was to strike a vehicle on one of the city’s main roads.
A different view point
However, there is a much simpler alternative to getting a special view that not many others will have seen. Step in, Borge. When I found out about the composite poles, I was very keen to see whether they would honestly give a much different perspective. Without doubt, they would not be able to reach the hundreds of feet that a drone can, but could they be used to create striking images? I quickly found the answer…
From the moment I placed my Sony RX100V on the easy-to-use ball head and started to elevate the poles, I could see a whole new perspective open up. As I was shooting at a fairly wide field of view, around 24mm - the moment the camera got above two or three meters, completely new possibilities started opening up! The fact that the pole I was using could be escalated to 8 meters, I knew that this was going to be an interesting piece of kit!
Build Quality and Ease of Use…
Straight out of the box, I knew it was a quality piece of kit. The pole itself came in a very nice carry case, making the pole and attachments easy to transport. The pole is made from high-quality Carbon Fibre and comes in telescopic section. Each section has a clamping ring that is loosened as you raise each section and then tightened to secure it. Having been a tripod user for many years, I appreciated how robust the clamps were and the fact that they felt secure when the pole was at maximum height.
I was using a ball head to set the camera to a portrait perspective, as most of the shots that I post are set to portrait for better social media use. I was also using a Universal Phone Mount Clamp Kit to secure my iPhone. As I don’t have 8 meter arms, I was using my phone through the Wifi app so that I could control it whilst it was at the top of the pole and it all worked a treat. The phone holder was easy to adjust so that I could easily use the phone whilst holding the pole. However, the pole also had a Foot Plate at the base so it added an extra element of security.
The pole was simple to erect and even easier to take down and at no point did I feel that the camera was in danger of falling off. The only thing that I would recommend, it being mindful of strong winds and using anywhere near power lines etc. - but I really hope that is self-explanatory! Overall, both the build quality and ease of use were very impressive.
Final Thoughts - Does it Stack Up?
I was skeptical at first as I did not see how an 8 meter pole could compare to something that can actually ‘fly’. However, I have been very impressed by the results and my images have certainly gone down well on social media. I think the fact that it takes away all of the risks and dangers associated with Drone use, it makes this one a no-brainer.
In addition to this, I could also see how many alternative uses it could have outside of photography - such as for use in inspecting roofs, guttering etc. It also opens up other possibilities in terms of shooting over crowds, where access may be an issue or even elevate angles inside properties - something that Drones could not do. Overall, this is an excellent piece of kit and something I can see being very useful in a whole host of situations.
For more information and to purchase, visit: Broge Website