Travel with Dave: Top Secret Tip
My Platypod has featured as being the world’s most travelled
Platypod, and from that experience of using my Platypod Ultra so frequently I want to offer this
absolute nugget of gold to you. This top tip will save you so much hassle, it’s my top secret Platypod
tip. Let’s get into it!
The Platypod Ultra and Max have perfectly flat bases. This is great in the majority of instances where
I use my Platypod, but sometimes I need to place it on an uneven surface. I recently took a drive out
to Anglesey, North Wales, where I wanted to shoot a lighthouse. The angle I wanted to catch
involved clambering up on some slippery rocks, and not being one to shy away at a little hurdle like
this I clambered up. Having nothing more than the camera and Platypod to carry, it was made far
easier than having the cumbersome load of a tripod and a bag.
When I was up on the rocks and looking for my angle I scoped out the surface and there was no flat
area at all to place my Platypod on, so I knew I’d have to unclip the accessories attached to my belt
and get them involved in the shoot. With the Ultra and Max you get four spiked, screw feet, but
here’s the thing: - If you relate the Platypod to the more traditional tripod the clue is in the name.
The word tripod comes from the French word trepied (not fact checked but I’m usually right) which
means ‘three feet.’ Seriously, ask me to sing you ‘heads, shoulders, knees and toes’ in French and I’ll
Anyway, I’m going off the point here… Here’s a visual representation of my point, before I explain
I recently used my Platypod Ultra to shoot using both a 14-24 and a 70-200, the former using a Lee
Filters 10-stop ‘big stopper’ and the latter using a Gobe thread mounted 10-stop filter. In both
circumstances the Platypod Ultra was capable of providing the solid platform I needed to hold the
camera firm and steady to get the long exposure shots I was after.
Feel free to use the four spiked feet to balance your Platypod, but you’ll probably find that the
balance is off and you’ll spend a lot of time making minor adjustments to one of the screws to
achieve that balance. On the Platypod there are 5 screw holes for threading the spiked feet. If you
use the front, centre one along with the two rear ones you’ve made a tripod which, with its three
points of contact to the ground, balances far better.
What we need, ultimately, is a solid and stable platform from which to fire off our shots. Platypod
gives us exactly this, whilst being versatile and extremely portable. Utilising it to its full potential
helps maximise on our time and reduce spending an unnecessary time dealing with a slight wobble
Use three feet, people! Tripod, three feet! You’re welcome ;)