Platypod is the top name in the flat tripod genre and for good reason; they make excellent gear. I wanted to see how their competition stacked up so I purchased a competitor’s product made by a company called Decade. The Decade Mini Tripod Base (Universal Mounting Plate) retails for about $38 on Amazon and is made out of 6061 aircraft grade aluminum. It ships with four removable spike screws and a Velcro belt strap. It is closest in size and design to the Platypod Max ($99), which is the larger mounting plate from Platypod. Check out the … [Read more...] about Decade mini tripod base – how does it compare to the Platypod?
We're photowalking in New York City! Come join us for this FREE event, as we help one another make great pictures and have a fun time. We'll start in Times Square and see some of the iconic places within walking distance. Plus, we'll have trial units from Lume Cube along to help us make pictures like never before. Their lights are compact in size but huge in illumination. We'll photograph buildings and people and cops and all kinds of city stuff. Several of our Photofocus authors and publisher, Richard Harrington, will be there. It's going … [Read more...] about October 26: Join Photofocus and Lume Cube for a New York City photowalk
Photographing large groups of people is the most challenging assignment you'll get as a portrait photographer. Each person expects you to make them look great in the final portrait, but there's always at least one person with a half blink or a nose tickle and there's definitely one person who is just looking off into space while everyone else has a winning smile. Sigh. The easiest thing way to manage this is to make many pictures and then combine them together into one with everyone's face look great. It's simple to use Luminar to make this … [Read more...] about Portrait Tips: How to combine photos for the best expressions using layers in Luminar
Photographing large family groups is intimidating. There are so many people that you have to help look good and if you look at the big picture it can be overwhelming. This is a picture I made at my family reunion the other day. Every time I do this it makes me sweat, and it's tempting to simply have everyone line up and turn toward the center like a high school band picture. But, there's one thing you can do to make it simple to photograph an extended family. Chop it up Instead of thinking of this task of photographing one huge family, … [Read more...] about Portrait Tips: Family reunion posing time-lapse
When you buy a fast lens with a bright aperture, like f/1.8, you go crazy making photos with a super-shallow depth of field. You photograph flowers where only one stamen is in focus, and you shoot people with super blurry backgrounds, and it's lots of fun using the thin slice of focus. However, there are many times when that thin slice just doesn't cut it. Sometimes you just need everything in focus, and even if you stop down to the lens's smallest aperture you still may not be able to get everything in sharp focus. That's where focus stacking … [Read more...] about What Is focus stacking?
Guest post by Larry Tiefenbrunn, Inventor and CEO of Platypod. See more at the Platypod Blog. December 6, 2017 is a day I will never forget. I had just flown down to Tampa on my way to appear on Scott Kelby’s “The Grid” together with portrait photographer and Photofocus editor, Levi Sim. Before I even landed, Levi messaged me that he and his buddy Jason Hahn, professional wildlife and nature photographer, would pick me up from the airport and take me out to an alligator park. As it turns out, our schedule did not allow us to go that far … [Read more...] about Capturing Wildlife Photos At Tampa Bay Beach
I have loved Platypod from the very beginning. In fact, up until recently, it was my only tripod of sorts. I couldn’t even afford a tripod so I used my Platypod everywhere. I honestly didn’t need anything else. I was excited to use the Platypod Max on a TV show I was invited to be on to discuss my expertise in shooting night sky photos. What better way to showcase one of my already favorite tools on an international level? The day before shooting we were scouting locations and I didn’t bother taking any BTS as the BTS I wanted would include … [Read more...] about My (Un)Typical Review Of The Platypod Max
A few of the Photofocus authors will be together in Tampa, Florida next week, and we're photowalking, and we thought you might like to join us. Come on down before you go to work and we'll have a fun time making pictures and exploring the University of Tampa with our cameras, and maybe grab a bite to eat afterword. Jason Hahn, Vanelli, and Levi Sim will all be there. We're going to be on campus for sunrise, so this is an early meetup. We'll get together at 6:40am (who's idea was that???). Let's meet at the Glazer Children's Museum, and we'll … [Read more...] about Photofocus Photowalk: Tampa 12/6
A few of the Photofocus authors will be together in Tampa, Florida next week, and we're photowalking, and we thought you might like to join us. Come on down before you go to work and we'll have a fun time making pictures and exploring the University of Tampa with our cameras, and maybe grab a bite to eat afterword. Jason Hahn, Vanelli, and Levi Sim will all be there. We're going to be on campus for sunrise, so this is an early meetup. We'll get together at 6:40am (who's idea was that???). Let's meet at the Glazer Children's Museum, and we'll … [Read more...] about Photofocus Photowalk: Tampa, 12/6/17
You know we love Platypod, and right now is the best time to buy one and try it for yourself. The Black Friday deal is a free Multi Accessory Kit, which I use every time I go out shooting. It’s good for a few days, but hurry and order for quick delivery. You’re going to love it. I love the 36” strap—it’s perfect for most applications like strapping to a tree or telephone pole or bridge railing. The spigot adapter is great for using a light on the Platypod. I use the silicone pad to keep Platypod in place on delicate surfaces (and I use … [Read more...] about Remember the Platypod!
Whether it’s of a bird or a person, eye contact in a photo engages and draws the viewer into the photo, creating a connection between them and the subject. As easy as it sounds to just shoot when the critter is looking at you, rarely in the great outdoors are we lucky enough to just walk up to our subject and grab an instant masterpiece image of it. Getting eye level and capturing the right type of eye contact for your composition requires thought, a careful approach, and attention not just to the subject, but everything going on around … [Read more...] about Get Eye Level to Make More Powerful Animal Photos
By now people have realized the Platypod Max is a very "on the go" versatile tool. Attaching a ball head and camera makes it as rock solid as a tripod. But did you know, it's just as great in the studio? I've shown in a previous post how to attach an Avenger 5/8-Inch Stud so you can mount a large studio light and hide it in a small space behind your subject without getting it in the shot. This time I used the 3" spigot adapter from Platypod's Multi Accessory kit to attach the light to the Platypod; it's a standard lighting tool size and works … [Read more...] about Studio Tip: Use a Platypod to Hang a Hair Light
I like to travel light. I have a mirrorless camera, the Fuji X-T2, and very small prime lenses. My preference is to keep the camera strap around my shoulder and to put an extra lens and some batteries in my purse or fanny-pack as I leave my hotel for a day of sightseeing. When the need arises, depending on what I plan to photograph, I will carry a tripod and possibly a backpack filled with camera gear. When I carry a backpack I think about ways to lessen the load. On The Road Like many of you, I have read the Platypod Reviews on Photofocus. … [Read more...] about The Traveling Photographer: Platypod, An Essential Tool
Autumn and Spring are great seasons for making cityscapes. The weather is cool but not cold, and the sun sets early so you can make nighttime pictures at a reasonable hour and there will still be plenty of traffic on the roads for making light trails. Shooting long exposure cityscapes is enjoyable and it's a great way to see your own city with fresh eyes. Let me share a few ideas that will help you have a better experience as you practice nighttime cityscapes. 1. Don't Get Hangry Not surprisingly, long exposures take a lot of time. Bring … [Read more...] about 4 Tips For Long Exposure Cityscapes
A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon a photo I selected for Photographer of the Day. It was of a skateboarder at a skate park, doing some tricks. Needless to say, I was inspired. I really had never tried to capture skateboarding in action, but I knew that with a few extra tools, I could do so in a unique and different way. Enter the Platypod Max and MagMod system. I had recently purchased a complete MagMod set, and was really excited to try out some of the less-traditional tools for lighting a scene. I talked to a local photographer friend, … [Read more...] about Skating The Ramps With Platypod Max And MagMod
Tens of thousands of photographers are descending on New York City from around the world to attend Photo Plus Expo, the largest photography conference, and trade show in the Western Hemisphere. Several of our authors and editors will be there and we’d love to see you for a photowalk Friday evening and maybe a little refreshment afterward. (Register Now! The photo walk is Limited to 50 walkers) This year we’ve got a special opportunity to learn new skills. We’ll learn how to maximize any shooting opportunity by recording video footage along … [Read more...] about Photowalk Tonight @8pm In NYC
As I was relaxing, enjoying a nice meal with a friend, out of the blue he asked: “Would you really buy a Platypod?” Nipping any chances of a debate, I gave him five examples of times when I needed my Platypod but didn’t have it with me. Here’s why I answered “Yes!” What Is a Platypod? A Platypod is a versatile and compact base ideal for supporting cameras to capture below-angle shots and for situations where traditional tripods are cumbersome or impractical. It's also a great tool for studio use. You can use it to hang a hair light or hide a … [Read more...] about Would You Really Buy A Platypod?
Tens of thousands of photographers are descending on New York City from around the world to attend Photo Plus Expo, the largest photography conference, and trade show in the Western Hemisphere. Several of our authors and editors will be there and we’d love to see you for a photowalk Friday evening and maybe a little refreshment afterward. (Register Now! The photo walk is Limited to 50 walkers) This year we’ve got a special opportunity to learn new skills. We’ll learn how to maximize any shooting opportunity by recording video footage along … [Read more...] about NYC Photowalk With Photofocus, Macphun, & Adobe Stock This Friday @8pm
The thing is, there are stellar celestial events every month and wherever you live you're sure to be able to make a great picture. I've just moved to Nampa, Idaho, and I'm invigorated by a new place and new things to photograph. However, I bet there are plenty of interesting things to see right where you live, too. Most Importantly: Just Do It I know how it is: you're rushing to get your work done on Friday so you can go out and make a picture in the evening or head out on a trip with your family for the weekend, but no matter how focused you … [Read more...] about Learn To Love Lemonade
Video clips are one of the best ways to both record memories and bring a little extra cash. Mirrorless cameras are ideal for making videos, but shooting video is very different from shooting still photographs. If you haven't read Richard Harrington's articles about making videos, then it's time you started doing that (here're a bunch to get you started). But there are three simple things you can do to start making better quality video clips, and good quality video clips can be monetized with Adobe Stock, which is pretty cool. Shutter Speed is … [Read more...] about Mirrorless Camera Maniac: Three Tips For Making Videos
Editor's Note: Vanelli has used a pre-production model of the Platypod Ultra that we were sent for test shooting. The units are on Kickstarter now, but only until Sunday, July 25, 2017. Consider ordering one if you want to get the product first. Tripods are a great tool to steady a shot and keep the subject in focus. Sometimes their size prevents them from being placed in the exact position you need to capture a shot. This is where a Platypod fits in. Here’s how I used the new Platypod Ultra to keep the camera low to capture … [Read more...] about How I Got the Shot: Great Reflections with Platypod Ultra
I've become a fan of Platypod Ultra. It's got all the best features of the original Pro and the larger Max, and it fits in my back pocket. It goes everywhere I go from road trips to long hikes. I use it in airports, cities, and other places tripods just aren't safe to use. Let me show you some of the ways I've been employing Ultra in my photography and you'll see that you should have one, too. Group Portraits This is an easy way to use Ultra, and since it's small and light you can have a solid platform for your camera with you all the time. … [Read more...] about Shoot Anywhere With Platypod Ultra
Let’s get a few things out of the way before I get to the review. I’ve bought five Platypod Pros and three Platypod Max units for myself in the past. I’ve stashed a Platypod in every camera bag and even my car’s glovebox. I’ve loved the original Platypod Pro (review) and the Platypod Max (review). I can call the inventor and offer feedback. I appear on the Kickstarter page and offer a testimonial because I believe in the products so much. What is It? The Platypod Ultra is a tripod alternative. It combines with virtually … [Read more...] about Platypod Ultra – The Best Alternative to a Tripod
We're at it again. We're getting together and practicing making pictures. This is a fun time to meet and make photographs and chat and have a fun time. Since we're visiting for Photoshop World, we'll meet at the Hyatt Regency Lobby where the conference is being held. We'll meet at 5:30 pm, head down International Drive and find some photos and maybe grab a bite before Stacy Pearsall's talk later in the evening. We can practice architecture, street portraiture, and even long exposure motion capture. We're looking forward to seeing you and having … [Read more...] about Photowalk: Orlando, April 21st, 5:30 pm
Many of our Photofocus team will be in Las Vegas for the WPPI photography conference, and we'd love to get together and make pictures with you. Photowalks like this are a great time to put into practice various techniques that you don't otherwise get time to use. We won't be walking very far on this walk, but we will be shooting a lot. We're in Las Vegas, so let's practice making pictures that show off the light and excitement of the strip. We'll do long exposures and motion and see some of the iconic spots. We'll meet at the gazebo outside … [Read more...] about Photowalk Las Vegas: 6:00pm Wednesday, Feb. 8th
I think the Snake River Plain in southern Idaho is one of the prettiest places in the world and one of the hardest places to photograph. It’s expansive and grand and as you drive you’ll see heavenly light and subtle color and texture changes that make it seem like you’re driving through a painting. But when you stop to make a photograph, you’ll see that it’s difficult to make a picture that expresses the beauty you see with your eyes. Idaho isn’t the only place that offers this obstacle. Most beautiful places can stymie even experienced … [Read more...] about “I Like This Picture Because…”
Editor’s Note: It’s time for something new. In the past, Photofocus has made it a practice of acknowledging a specific camera and/or lens as the “camera/lens” of the year. This year several of us are putting together a list including camera and lens choices along with a few other pieces of gear that we think you’ll like. While it’s not designed specifically as a holiday gift guide, this list does happen to be a resource for photographers (and their friends/family) who want to get the ball rolling on their holiday shopping. A few things … [Read more...] about Photofocus Products Of The Year – Kevin Ames
What is a Platypod? A Platypod is a versatile compact designed base ideal for supporting cameras to capture below-angle shots and for situations where traditional tripods are cumbersome or impractical. Mounting your Camera This video shows how to replace your tripod by mounting your camera to a Platypod with a Ball Head. This gives you a solid base allowing you to place your camera in places that are impractical for tripods. Use the included spikes to level the base on uneven surfaces. https://youtu.be/C7JV3jZC0ew … [Read more...] about Quick Tip: Use a Platypod as a Tripod
We've got a great speaker lineup, today, at Photo Plus Expo. In addition to our own Vanelli, Richard Harrington, and Levi Sim, we're honored to have Joe McNally, George Redhawk, Troy Plota, and Sascha Scheider joining us, and they're going to show you how to make photographs that'll make your work stand out from the crowd. Win A Camera! If you come to our booth, not only will get some terrific education free of charge, you'll also be able to enter our drawing for a brand new camera! And it happens to be a top-of-the-line mirrorless camera, … [Read more...] about Live Speaker Schedule for Saturday at Photo Plus Expo
We've got a great speaker lineup, today, at Photo Plus Expo. In addition to our own Vanelli, Richard Harrington, and Levi Sim, we're honored to have Joe McNally, Sam Isom, Troy Plota, and Sascha Scheider joining us, and they're going to show you how to make photographs that'll make your work stand out from the crowd. Win A Camera! If you come to our booth, not only will get some terrific education free of charge, you'll also be able to enter our drawing for a brand new camera! And it happens to be a top-of-the-line mirrorless camera, the … [Read more...] about Live Speaker Schedule for Friday at Photo Plus Expo