January 24

16 comments

Video: The Snow Bike and The Super Clamp

By Dan

January 24, 2011

And now for the first time ever on this blog- Video!

Yesterday I went out with my snow bike and a pack full of camera gear and tried to come up with some cool action photos by playing around with different vantage points. I also took along my new Flip UltraHD video camera which works great for projects like this.

The idea was simple: Attach my Nikon D700 and 14mm f2.8D lens to the bike using a Manfrotto Super Clamp and a Manfrotto Variable Friction Magic Arm, and see what kinds of images I could come up with.

So, here’s my first attempt at video. Bear with me. Or go ahead and laugh, as long as it’s all in the name of fun. I can take it. Be sure to view as large as possible on your screen, as the photos are 720 pixels on the long end.

A few notes. I didn’t actually end up riding the bike, the camera was too much in the way, so I pushed it down the trail. Hence the comment about almost falling over a few times. I’m sure that I looked pretty silly to the cross country skiers who passed me.

Also, I didn’t use the self timer, instead I used the D700’s Interval Shooting Mode. I programmed the camera to take a series of 9 shots, each one second apart. I’d get all set up, hit OK on the camera and take off running with the bike.

Oh, and yea I know, I got the stud size wrong. The two screw sizes on the standard studs are the 1/4″ and the 3/8″. Hey, give me a break, it was cold outside.

Edit: This shot below was featured as a double page section opener in the October 2011 issue of Alaska Magazine. See the published version here.

About the author

Hi, I'm Dan Bailey, a 20+ year pro outdoor and adventure photographer, and official FUJIFILM X-Photographer based in Anchorage, Alaska.


As a top rated blogger and author my goal is to help you become a better, more confident and competent photographer, so that you can have as much fun and creative enjoyment as I do.


  • cool idea, cool pics, cool bike and cool lifestyle, i envy you Dan. Thanks for posting.

    Carl Yeomans

  • Neato! I really like the unique angle of the photos that you got. I tried something similar but with a gorillapod focus instead of the super clamp/magic arm and it didn’t hold all that well. Watching that has inspired be to try again though.

  • Great job on the video… hard to believe it was your first attempt. Never thought about using the bogen arm on the bike…. great idea…. I’ll have to try it.

  • Thanks for the comment, Carl. You know, I’m just trying to do my thing- sometimes it works out ok, sometimes it doesn’t, but it’s always an adventure!

  • Kari, I’ve lugged around my little Gorillapod quite a bit as well, but I agree, it doesn’t always hold very securely, especially when mounting on moving subjects. That said, even the Super Clamp sometimes has trouble holding a heavy camera without sliding a bit. Part of that is because of the leverage of sticking the camera and heavy 14mm lens way out there, and because the bike tube is smooth metal. I had to keep adjusting it between takes, but for the most part, it worked out pretty well. Thanks for reading!

  • Thanks, Steve. It’s not the first time that I’ve used the Super Clamp on the bike, but it’s my first time with the Magic Arm. You can do a lot with those things!

  • So cool!! great images! I’m a mountain biker myself, but never had the guts to clamp my Nikon to the bike. Have you actually ever ridden the bike with the camera attached to it??

  • Matea- Yes, I’ve ridden the bike with the camera clamped to it, but not like it was in the video. That system with the arm wouldn’t hold on a fast or technical ride. I’ve had it clamped to and over the handlebars, where it’s basically centered and not sticking out to the side and that works pretty well, especially for fast cruiser trails that aren’t too rocky or bumpy. Thanks for reading and thanks for your comment!

  • […] I even put together a short video to show the gear and setup that I used to get this image. Shooting with a camera attached to a snow bike with a Bogen Super Clamp | Dan Bailey's Adventure Pho… __________________ Daniel H. Bailey's Adventure Photography Blog -Exploring the world of […]

  • Your video is so cool, Dan! Thanks for showing us all the equipment you used – I’m feeling inspired to try some new things! I’d love to see some more videos in the future.

  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

    Never miss a post!

     Subscribe and get notified whenever I write something new!

    >

    WOULD YOU LIKE TO SAVE 20% ON MY BRAND NEW eBOOK?

    Sign up for my newsletter and I'll send you an exclusive discount code. 


    Terry Bourk

    I have read you new book “Behind the Landscape.” I could not “put it down” meaning that I kept at it because each photo you presented/analyzed was interesting and informative. I am trying to develop an eye for composition (both the scene and the light).

    Thank you! The examples you present and the suggestions are very helpful. Purple Mountains, McKinley River and Wonder Lake are fascinating.


    Roger Sinclair

    You have done it again! Another triumph.

    Your generosity to share, the clarity of thought and concise explanation thereof is brilliant. Perhaps I should also mention the beautiful photos and the talent necessary to produce them.

    Thank you, Dan.