How to Make an Aerial Photography Rig with a Disposable Camera

Get a new perspective by taking pictures from a bird's eye view.

You will need

  • A rotary tool
  • A rotary tool cutoff wheel
  • A wooden clothespin
  • A pushpin
  • A disposable 35 millimeter camera
  • A hot glue gun
  • A binder clip
  • Two paper clips
  • A roll of twine
  • A heavy-duty kite

Step 1 Prepare the clothespin and pushpin Using the rotary tool and the cutoff wheel, trim 1/2 inch off one side of the closed end of the clothespin. Cut off the metal tack of the pushpin, leaving only the plastic casing.

Step 2 Attach the clothespin to the camera With the camera facing you, hot glue the clothespin so that the cut-off end lays flat beside the shutter button and the non-cut end is directly above the shutter button.

Step 3 Complete the shutter button mechanism Clamp the binder clip onto the end of the clothespin so that it holds the clothespin open. Hot glue the wide end of the pushpin to the upper, open end of the clothespin, so that the pushpin’s narrower end is positioned directly above the shutter.

Step 4 Bend the paper clips Bend both of the paper clips into an “S” shape. Bend one of the “S” shapes at the middle so it forms a 90-degree angle.

Step 5 Attach the paper clips to the camera Hot glue the 90-degree paper clip to the top and center of the camera so that the corner of the paper clip is flush with the front edge of the camera, above the viewfinder. Glue the other clip so that half of it is on top of the first paper clip, and the other half is extending over the back edge of the camera.

Step 6 Attach the rig to the kite string Position the camera about a foot down the kite string from the kite. Wrap the kite string around the overhanging end of the flat paper clip, then bend the edge of the paper clip around the string to secure it. Repeat with the kite string and the 90-degree paper clip.

Step 7 Test the rig Lift up the camera rig by the string to make sure it’s securely fastened. Tie one end of the twine to the binder clip. Test the mechanism to make sure that when you pull the twine, the binder clip snaps off and the clothespin pushes the shutter button down. Make adjustments as needed.

Step 8 Fly the kite On a breezy day, take the camera rig and kite into an open space away from any trees or power lines. Make sure you have a little more slack in the twine than in the kite string. As you give the kite string more slack, also increase the slack in the twine.

Step 9 Take a picture When you’re ready to take a picture, pull the twine to release the binder clip. To take another picture, lower the kite and reset the camera rig. When you’re through, develop the film and marvel at your aerial photos!