XShot: Raising self-involvement to an art form
Aspen Times Weekly
“I may not be much, but I’m all I think about,” goes the old adage.
And for the highly self-involved like myself, the XShot, a hand-held telescoping mono-pod for portable cameras, allows any photographer to become their own subject.
“No more guessing and taking one-handed pictures that come out blurry and cropped,” says a product PR video on XShotpix.com.
The XShot allows you to take a photo of yourself and up to five people without having to ask a stranger to go to work for you.
The 37-inch retractable mono-pod is made of stainless steel, fits any camera base, and is just 9 inches when retracted, making it easy to carry.
Many digital cameras come with a feature that allows the photographer to turn the viewfinder toward the subject ” essential for framing yourself using the XShot. Next is finding out how to set the time-delay on your camera or work a camera remote.
I’ve just started shooting video for The Aspen Times website, and I can attach a hand-held video camera to the telescoping pole, enabling me to shoot a cool tracking shot of myself. I might use the XShot to do the occasional “stand-up” ” or on-camera introduction and sign-off message ” during a breaking news situation, if I can’t find someone to hold the camera.
I did use the XShot at the recent Winter X Games, but not to photograph myself; I used the nearly 3 feet of reach to raise my camera over the heads of others in the crowd and get an unobstructed shot of X Games happenings.
While it’s easy to attach any camera, the XShot is best with smaller, lightweight digital cameras. The telescoping segments do not lock, and I had to carefully balance a heavier video camera lest a segment twist and the camera flip upside down.
It’s kind of fun to use the XShot to photograph yourself with a friend, and we had fun fooling with it in the newsroom. But taking a photo of yourself all alone feels a little pathetic.
Of course the XShot would be just the ticket for that mountaintop portrait when you (with or without chums) summit a fourteener or stop at a viewpoint.
The XShot retails for $29.95 on the company website: XShotpix.com.
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Aspen Sister Cities members dedicated a plaque in Sister Cities Plaza to Don Sheeley, who served as president of the organization from 1998 until his death in 2017.