Photography & Video

I’m continually blown away with Steve Hoefer’s work. Check out his documentation camera dolly (complete with instructions):

I know a lot of people who make lots of stuff. They even take the time to share as much as they can about their process. But documenting everything is a pain. It takes time away from the actual doing of the project. And even if you aren’t documenting to share with the world, documenting for yourself is incredibly valuable.

And let’s say you’re trying to show someone how to do something. Cook, solder, crochet, play chess… most anything with your hands. Wouldn’t it be handy to have a camera above your work, just like they have on those fancy TV shows? Yes, it turns out it would. And it also turns out to be pretty easy to make.

This overhead camera dolly holds a camera pointing straight down onto your work surface and it lets you easily move it both side-to-side and toward and away from you so it can focus on any part of your workspace.

Use it for instructional videos, live demos, time lapse videos or film your own cooking show!

• It’s cheap—I built the whole thing for less than $30.
• It’s simple to build. It only take a few common tools and a few hours.
• It’s easily customizable to the size and needs of your workspace.
• It’s versatile. It works with just about any kind of camera from a webcam or cameraphone up to a professional DSLR.
• It’s modular and can be set up and torn down quickly and easily if you want to use it at an event.

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Becky Stern is a Content Creator at Autodesk/Instructables, and part time faculty at New York’s School of Visual Arts Products of Design grad program. Making and sharing are her two biggest passions, and she's created hundreds of free online DIY tutorials and videos, mostly about technology and its intersection with crafts. Find her @bekathwia on YouTube/Twitter/Instagram.

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