When photographing animals in a studio setting, safety always has to come first for the animals and myself. Whether I am shooting venomous snakes, frogs, or lizards, I have to make sure the equipment I use will keep them safe and I also protect my camera from a fall. You would be amazed at how quickly a three-inch gecko can run across a table and when that happens, I used to have to set my camera down quickly and safely and then try to catch the animal. Then I found Platypod.
This simple piece of equipment provides a stable base for my camera so I can use it on a table and let go without worry as I catch escaping critters. The camera position stays as I left it and it eliminates putting a large tripod between the subject and myself, allowing for quick and easy movement. It is also light enough that I can lift the camera with the Platypod on it if I want a quick shot from a different, higher angle. Not only can it replace my tripod, but it can also replace a much larger and elaborate stand I use to hold a branch (or used to anyway) for arboreal species that are more comfortable off of the ground. It is sturdy enough to support a branch with an animal on it safely and compactly, which is key in a small studio environment.
Overall I could not be more thrilled to add this to my set up. It eliminates about fifteen pounds of gear I need to bring with me and provides me with much more flexibility all while keeping the animals safe.
Zac Herr ZTH Photography @iammakingart
Equipment used Canon 6D, Canon 100mm f/2.8L Macro lens, Benro IB0 ball head, 2 Canon 430ex lll-RT speedlites triggered with the Canon ST-E3-RT, and a LumoPro studio clamp. Photos of the camera on the base were taken with a Canon 70D and Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L with previously mentioned flashes.
Follow Zac on Instagram at @iammakingart