Time-lapse photography is usually quite easy. Set up a tripod, mount the camera then turn it on. Once the project is finished, turn the camera off, then download the card. But there are times that a tripod can’t be used.

My setup for mounting a timelapse camera above the workers installing the new hardwood floor.
My setup for mounting a time-lapse camera above the workers installing the new hardwood floor.

When a tripod can’t be used

This one wasn’t as easy. When a hardwood floor is being installed, there’s simply no place to put a tripod. The solution was a bit unorthodox, yet simple thanks to the Platypod Ultra.

The Platypod Ultra

The Platypod Ultra is a mounting bracket, tripod, ball head holder, leveling base, low angle light stand or camera mount and a lot more. The Ultra can be purchased by itself or with an accessory kit. It has two titanium-mounting studs countersunk so the bottom of the Platypod is totally flat. The studs are then welded to the T6 aircraft grade aluminum base plate. The original Platypod took its name thanks to the similarity in its shape to that of the duckbill platypus.

The Platypod supports up to 90 pounds. This is way more than any DSLR full-frame or medium format camera on the market. A GoPro along with good sized battery pack is not even close to straining this versatile mount. Here’s the rig I used at the location. The whole thing is mounted on a Platypod. The Platypod is large enough that everything sits on in it in perfect balance.

The Platypod shown in this photograph is the original which has been replaced by the Platypod Ultra. Same idea as the original, it’s even more versatile. It can be mounted to columns or trees with an available belt.

I have two original Platypods in my camera case, just in case I run into a situation where my tripod is not available or banned. I also use them for holding flags, mirrors and lights on tabletop setups.

Location time-lapse setup video

This short video shows how the Platypod holds the setup out of the way.