The Inventions 

My photographic inventions have played a major contribution to my fine art photographic career. My desire has always been to find ways to expand on traditional photographic “space” so as to better communicate feelings and thoughts with visual metaphoric relationships and expansions of the photographic “edges”. This effort began back in the late 60s with my building of a keyboard operated slide show apparatus that enabled a photographer to play his or her images spontaneously to music and sound. This then led to my interest in trying ways to expand on the limits of a camera’s ability to see outside of traditional photographic formats. Working with many designs of pin hole cameras I produced a significant portfolio of what I call my “Spherical Series”.

Further work concerning my “Inventions” includes the invention of two supportive photographic devices which include the “RiflePod” and the “MirrorsPod”. I have used these devices in my fine art work, but also feel that they have to potential for marketing purposes.

The Total Environment Camera

Total environment camera in action
David P. Willis

My first major invention was created in the early seventies when I became curious about how to photograph with a camera that could record a complete environment. There were no “virtual reality” cameras available at that time, so I designed and constructed several versions of pin-hole cameras that could do this. My final version was a six-sided camera. Each panel covers 60 degrees horizontal by 180 degrees vertical to create a complete spherical photograph. Images from this camera can be seen in the ‘Spherical’ tab in the fine-art section.

The RiflePod Invention

David P. Willis
David P. Willis

The RiflePod was invented in 2019 and was designed to mount a heavyweight telephoto lens and camera on a rifle-style stock. This enables sports and wildlife photographers to more instinctively swing and follow moving targets with their cameras to capture fast moving subjects. By mounting the lens and camera on a rifle stock, the center of camera motion is now with the photographer’s body. Cameras mounted on a tripod or monopod move this center of movement away from the body of the photographer and is a less instinctive way to follow a subject’s movement.

The MirrorsPod Invention

David P. Willis

The MirrorPod was invented most recently in 2020. It is a lens adaptor that can either be placed in from a camera or used in the studio with a light table to create multiple kinds of prismatic imagery.

Pod Types

The RiflePod and MirrorsPod inventions are at the “Prototype” stages of development and are being used in my fine art work. More complete descriptions of their design and functionality are described below. Interested investors or manufacturers who would like to pursue further design and manufacture of the devices may contact me at: dpwillis1@verizon.net.

RiflePod

U.S. Trademark Registered # 5853507
Patent Pending at U.S. Patent and Trademark Office #62799059
Registered with the IP Rights Office Copyright Registration Service Ref: 6934122089

David P. Willis

COMPLETED ASSMEBLY WITH RIFLE STOCK, CAMERA, LENS, SHUTTER RELEASE, SHOULDER BRACE AND RIFLE SLING

Photographers have long used tripods and monopods to stabilize their cameras. We now introduce the RiflePod as the latest innovation in the utilization and use of the faster, autofocus, zoom but heavy super telephoto lenses.

Sports and wildlife photographers now can shoulder mount their super telephoto lenses on a rifle styled stock to more freely follow moving subjects. Separately mounting the camera and lens to the rifle-styled stock better protects the mounting collars from stress. The wired shutter release is mounted at the standard trigger finger position of a rifle for better shot control. The photographic RiflePod eliminates the awkwardness of trying to frame fast moving subjects with tripods or monopods and is a free, more creative and instinctive way to photograph wild life and athletes. By using the rifle sling and newly designed cross-body shoulder strap the weight of the camera and lens is supported by both the shoulders and arms and provides a stable platform with which to move and capture decisive action moments.

RiflePod in Shooting postion

RiflePod in Action

CROSS-CHEST SHOULDER STRAP

The cross-chest padded shoulder strap is an integral component of the RiflePod. It is a simple, essential and comfortable support strap for transferring the weight of the rifle stock, heavy super telephoto lens and camera to the back and shoulder of the photographer. This strap allows for comfortably resting the rig while waiting between shots. It is tailored for each customer as per their individual measurements and desires.

Cross body strap

David P. Willis

Shoulder brace to help support weight

David P. Willis

Remote shutter release at rifle trigger location

David P. Willis

Use of Rifle Sling

David P. Willis

Rifle Sling In walking position

David P. Willis

Rifle Sling arm wrap to steady aim

Proof of concept” photographs taken with the RiflePod to demonstrate the effectiveness of the system. Tracking helicopters in flight, shots out my window of buildings, the Super Moon at night and the Empire State Building from the sidewalk were all done without setting up a cumbersome tripod.

RiflePod shots tracking helicopter taking off and flying off into the distance

David P. Willis

David P. Willis

Shoulder mounted RiflePod shots tracking bird in flight

David P. Willis

David P. Willis

MirrorsPod

David P. Willis

The MirrorsPod Is an optical camera lens accessory that can be placed in front of a camera lens for the purpose of producing prismatic or kaleidoscopic photographs. It utilizes a series of three-sided, four sided or five-sided mirror combinations that can be inserted into the pod for various effects. The MirrorsPod can be used in two different ways. It can be used directly in the field with a camera to compose photographic compositions from the environment . The three inserts can also be used separately in the studio with a light table and photographic transparencies to produce more tightly composed designs and templates for textile and graphic design purposes.

The MirrorsPod lens accessory enables a photographer to now record the beautiful kaleidoscopic designs that before now were only ephemeral effects in children’s toys. In the field or using a light table, it is possible to produce an infinite range of prismatic photographic perspectives.

The MirrorsPod is constructed with a 24 inch by eight inch diameter tube with a front opening that accepts the mirror inserts. The back end has a four inch opening large enough to accept various sized lenses that can be rotated and angled to produce an infinite range of effects. A handle is provided for hand-held shots as well as a mount to install a monopod or tripod when necessary.

David P. Willis

MirrorsPod with camera used directly in the field

MirrorsPod in action

MirrorsPod inserts can be used separately with transparencies, light table, camera and tripod in the studio.

Using photographic transparencies directly on a light table enable prismatic designs to be carefully designed, especially useful for textile and graphic design purposes. The prismatic images created by the inserts serve as templates within which imagery can be further inserted and manipulated.

David P. Willis

Proof-of-Concept photographs

Example of MirrorsPod field shots taken directly with camera

In the field shot using six-sided insert of subway escalator in New York City with camera lens angled upward and to the side to create this effect.

David P. Willis

Examples of studio photographs using the inserts separately with light table and transparencies

Three-sided insert using transparency composition of Dalmatians and taxi sculpture

David P. Willis

Five-sided insert using dragon/fire transparency composition. The insert produced the template for creating replicated images suggestive of a textile design.

David P. Willis

Three-sided insert using Trilobite/Eclipse transparency composition with further manipulations inspired by the optical design created by the insert.

David P. Willis