By Melanie Kern-Favilla
I shoot macro.
I mostly use in-studio natural light, and I use the term ‘studio’ lightly, as it is basically just a narrow ledge in front of a south-facing window in my bedroom.
Because I shoot in a small, mixed-use room, I am constantly struggling with my full-size Gitzo tripod. I am forever readjusting the legs, trying to get the tripod to become flush with the ledge. I have even been known to lean the tripod (with the camera attached) against said ledge, extending one leg of the tripod out beyond the others.
It’s not exactly the most stable workaround.
I’ve seen Scott Kelby talk about the Platypod Max a few times in the past, always saying to myself, “Meh, I don’t need that. I don’t do a lot of shooting in locations where tripods aren’t permitted.”
But then it hit me. I can use it for my macro work. Eureka!
I don't have a lot of space but still manage to setup a little macro studio in my bedroom. I use Max with my Canon 5D Mark IV, a Canon 100mm f/2.8 L macro and my Really Right Stuff BH-55 ballhead. All of that gear (especially the ballhead) weighs a ton and the Platypod Max handles it like a champ. It enabled me to shoot on the ledge itself, right in front of my subject. No more long legs to get in my way.
Max is easy to adjust. To raise the Platypod up a little higher, I just put a box or a book under it. If I need to raise the subject up a bit, I’ll simply elevate the subject on a box. Plus I can attach it to my tripod using the accessory holes in the center of Max without taking off my ballhead. Since I do focus stacking on most of my macros, the Platypod keeps my camera rock solid, so I can use the touch screen on the back of the camera to change the focus points, without moving the camera.
Max has allowed me to think outside the box (or sometimes on a box!) when shooting my macro. I can’t wait to shoot my next subject.
Melanie Kern-Favilla is a Long Island, New York photographer specializing in macro photography. See more of her work on her website.