First Impressions: Traveling Hawaii with a Platypod!

Halema'uma'u crater sdcopy.jpg

By Trevor Woods of Snap Daddy Photography

We are from Westlock, Alberta, Canada. We’ve traveled a considerable amount. Our home country of Canada, the US, Mexico, the Caribbean, Spain, Italy, Greece...

The gear we pack is heavy! Nikon D4, with accompanying lenses, usually a 2.8 14-24, 2.8 24-70, 2.8 70-200 and a couple 1.4 primes. Add a couple sb 900’s and remote triggers and a tripod to handle the camera, the pack gets very heavy!

We recently planned a trip to the Big Island of Hawaii with 2 of our kids. As I started planning what gear to bring, the thought of packing around a big tripod again was tiring me out just thinking about it. Cumbersome, added weight and a pain in the butt.

Enter PLATYPOD! I’d been looking at the Platypod website for some time, skeptical of its usefulness I shied away. Then I started looking for a top end, light tripod. WAY more than I wanted to spend, I returned to the Platypod website and decided to give it a shot. I ordered the Max and the accessory kit. When it came in, I was impressed with the quality of the unit and how it fit right into my gear bag with no problems.

Hawaii is an amazing place. I knew that I would be doing some long exposure images and was nervous about not having a tripod. We arrived at the viewing platform for the volcano and grabbed our spot. The Platypod was super easy to set up and had a nice small footprint. The shot was taken with the Nikon D4, f2.8 24-70 iso 100 @35mm-f2.8 for 10 seconds. As the sun went away and the crowd built to see the red glow, it was easy to see that the wide footprint of a tripod would have been difficult with so many people jockeying for position! Instant WIN for the Platypod!!! We took an iPhone shot of the crowd that was gathering well before sunset, with our goofy boy photobombing. Too many people for tripods and a handheld shot would have terrible! I left there feeling pretty pumped about the Platypod Max!

The sunset shoot was also a new experience with the Platypod Max. We took the Velcro strap from the accessory kit and fastened the Platypod Max to a palm tree at a height of about 6’. Mounted to that was the D4 and the 2.8 70-200. A heavy combo, once again I had some reservations. Would the Platypod be able to handle the weight hanging on a palm tree? We were posing roughly 100’ away and triggering remotely so I stressed that thousands of dollars of gear would crash to the grounding I was too far away to save it!  Once set up, it was flawless! Platypod Max secured everything perfectly! The silhouette shot was as follows:

Nikon D4, f2.8 70-200, iso 100 @ 70 mm exposure -3.67, 1/1000 shutter.

I am completely impressed with this piece of kit! It will be in my bag from now on. Platypod Max held my gear perfectly, no struggling with the tripod or fighting for space to have a wide tripod foot print. I’m totally looking forward to using the Platypod Max at every opportunity!

About the Author: Trevor Woods of Snap Daddy Photography is a Canadian family portrait photographer. See more and follow his work on facebook.

Noah Christensen