I like to support the local high school's athletes, especially those who've come through the studio for senior portraits, by taking photos during their games. In the fall and spring seasons, there are many times here in the Rochester, NY area when it is raining, and I needed a way to keep myself and camera dry while photographing sports games without going out any buying expensive rain gear for myself and the camera. Holding an umbrella while you are photographing anything is a lesson in futility, so I needed a hands-free umbrella option, using items I already had.
I needed a way to hold the umbrella in place over my head, without holding it. If you've ever watched flag bearers marching during a parade, you've seen the belt-type apparatus that the end of the flag sits in while they're marching. I needed this, and then something to hold the umbrella further up the shaft, to ensure that it stayed upright during use.
I dug out a PCV structural fitting from a past project (DIY light table) and dug out a nylon strap used to mount my kayak to my car. I cut slots in the PVC fitting so I could thread the nylon strap through and create a base that the butt end of the umbrella could sit in.