Eight weeks ago, six feet was just six feet. Now, those 72 inches is the minimum distance to stand away from someone. Working during a Pandemic is not easy when you tell the extraordinary stories of our times. When the wave of Coronavirus started to wash over the United States of America, K-Tek sent me a brand new boom pole explicitly built for users like me to help keep my distance from interview subjects. It was the right gear at the right time. Thanks, K-Tek!
K-Tek Interview PoleIt’s a boom pole; let’s not get crazy, right? Wrong, this boom pole has become one of my favorite pieces of kit. As Marie Kondo would say, it brings me joy. I have used the purpose-built K-Tek Interview Pole as a polite way to situate interview subjects a safe distance away from a reporter and me. Then, there are the times I use the boom pole to force a subject farther away. The K-Tek Interview Pole is a great tool to remind people to keep the space between us a little more now than we may be used to usually.
If I can anticipate an interview, I mount the K-Tek Interview Pole onto a C-Stand to set up a spot for an interview. Pre-setting up an interview spot allows me to tell a subject, “please stand under the microphone,” as I press record farther away. It is another way to ensure we are all safe and remaining healthy.
I can hear the collective response, “It is just a boom pole.” Well, yes, it is just a boom pole, and it is the right boom pole at the right price at the right time. Most local news photographers are using lavalier microphones on light stands to keep six feet from their interview subjects. Light stands are not ideal. News work is fast-paced. It would be best if you had a fast and easy-to-use solution like the K-Tek Interview Pole.
Working quickly as a news photographer is essential. Moments and shots breeze past like a strong wind if you are not ready with the right gear, you will miss what may be a necessary element to your story. The KIP K-Tek Interview Pole is fast. The 2-section pole extends with a single quick-release to full length and can retract just as fast. It is a quick-release and quick-lock in a second, literally. I shot a comparison video of the K-Tek Interview Pole versus another boom pole. Both are good boom poles, but the KIP K-Tek Interview Pole wins for speed even if you discount the hair flip in my video.
At the end of the KIP K-Tek Interview Pole, users will find a foam grip. It is the right size for my hands. When fully extended, the KIP K-Tek Interview Pole is a little hard to hold single-handedly for a lengthy interview. Most of the reporters I work with use two hands; their backhand on the foam grip and their front hand a little farther up the pole.
The K-Tek Interview Pole weighs in at 0.65 pounds. In hand, the KIP feels feather-light with most of the weight coming from the shock mount and microphone attached on one end. Compared to a light stand with a microphone attached on one end, the K-Tek Interview Pole is considerably lighter and easier to handle. The feather-light weight translates into longer interview times because one’s arm is not becoming tired as quickly as if using a light stand. If I partially extend the pole, to about four feet long, the K-Tek Interview Pole is easy to handle while shooting a man-on-the-street interview by myself. The feather-light weight also helps because news photographers usually carry or haul all their gear themselves, meaning heavier equipment gets left on the truck.
One of the reporters I work alongside stated, “it was very simple and intuitive to use, and in a time when we are all using makeshift boom poles that have the tendency to drop the mic, I never once worried about that with K-Tek.” The pole means gathering interviews as a team will be a little easier, and so to our day.
The job of a news photographer is very social. Before the pandemic news photographers usually stepped into people’s houses, cars, and the situation turns into a sort of temporary bond between the shooter and the subject. In regular times, you get very close to someone when you tell their story. In these times, even with Harvard Scientists suggesting Social Distancing may be a way of life for up to two years, this past way of working may be over for a bit. Trust that the KIP, K-Tek Interview Pole makes life a little easier.
Be safe. Be healthy.
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