It’s #TravelTuesday and I, Dave Williams, am here on ScottKelby.com as always. Today, I write from a cold, rain-soaked Scotland.
Tomorrow on The Grid there’s going to be something epic happening. If you’ve been keeping an eye on the Platypod social media feeds, you’ll know there’s a new product dropping, but what could it be?
Platypod has a great history of Kickstarter projects, each time unleashing a ground-breaking new product on the market, and this time is bound to be no different.
I’ve been a big fan of Platypod from the first moment I had my hands on the Ultra. It’s a fantastic piece of kit, and a solution to a problem so many photographers have, but what are its capabilities?
Today, I want to explain why I don’t go anywhere without a Platypod. Let’s do it!
First up, the tripod police!
We come up against a lot of situations as photographers whereby the use of tripods is banned. Most of the time we are completely unable to see why, and it’s usually backed up by the words “health and safety,” and enforced by an over-zealous security guard. Well, the Platypod isn’t a tripod, and that’s a workaround that has always worked in my experience. With a Platypod, I’ve been able to shoot in The Palais Garnier, Paris, St Stephens Basilica, Vatican City, The Royal Portuguese Library, Rio Di Janeiro, and a huge list of other places where tripods are otherwise banned. When I use a Platypod I can get away with placing it down right under the nose of the same security guards that would have kicked me out with a tripod, and it gives me the stability to get shots of some stunning interiors with a lower ISO and higher shutter speed. Perfect.
Coming in second, space-saving
I often find myself in situations where savings in space and weight are important. Having a Platypod instead of a tripod in certain situations is the perfect way to save this space and weight, meaning I can trek with a less awkward camera bag and still get the stable shots I need a tripod for. I’ve found that the creative expression that comes from moving a tripod around to find a particular perspective can be achieved just as easily with a Platypod, so there’s no disadvantage to losing the height. There are usually places to put a Platypod that still allow us height in our shots, and when we’re exploring with another person it’s often the case that our photography comes in at “second place” and, therefore, we may not want to be carrying all our gear anyway. If we are exploring a new place on vacation and we’re out all day, carrying a huge camera bag with all our gear can be quite cumbersome. In these cases, I’ll pick the lens I want for the day and attach it to my camera, then stick a Platypod under the camera and use my Blackrapid Sport Breathe to carry the whole rig. This gives me the option to take longer exposures and more stable shots, but also means I’m carrying only the bare minimum.
The best low perspectives
Shooting low, particularly for interior architecture shots, is a great perspective and really shows off the walls and ceilings of locations that are ornately decorated, and opens the spaces up. The floor in such places is normally quite bland, so getting low and cutting that floor into a slither whilst concentrating upwards gives a fantastic viewpoint. Cutting out the floor completely and just shooting upwards, focusing on the ceiling details in places such as the Vatican City, where there are large crowds to consider and a lot of beautiful artwork above us, is another option the Platypod affords us. We can be in and out in a flash with shots like this, which allows us to either turn out more photos, or simply kick back and enjoy the place we’re visiting.
I can talk about the advantages of a Platypod all day, but I’ll stop there for now. Feel free to check out my more detailed posts over on the Platypod blog, but I’ll leave you with this: –
Tomorrow, Wednesday 6th April, the creator of this epic piece of kit will be alongside Scott on The Grid, and there’s something big coming! Be there in the live feed on Scott’s Facebook page to make sure you don’t miss anything, including the special offers for first backers of this brand new piece of magic!