Right Next Door Series by Ian Spanier


By Ian Spanier - commercial and editorial portrait, travel, outdoor/adventure and fitness photographer 

For one of my Right Next Door Series featured on Huffpost, I was set to photograph Heidi Volpe, a champion single track bike racer, creative director, popcorn company owner, cancer survivor and cricket eater. We had arrange to do the shoot in the hills of Topanga Canyon, Ca- near her home. We would be hiking in to get a scenic spot up on one of the trails that is similar to what she trains on. Since this was a personal project, I would be managing this solo. Knowing we would be hiking, and the fact I would need a tripod for video, as well as a light for my subejct in order to stay consistent with the rest of the project I had some decisions to make.


First would be to travel as light as possible. Second, to come up with a solution so I could avoid lugging a heavy C-Stand with me for the light. I could have taken a lightweight stand, but given how windy it’s been this winter- I didn’t think that was going to work. I decided to take my Platypod Max and place it on top of my lightweight tripod. I added a simple light pin and tested how it would hold a Profoto B1 head. It worked great. Everything was very balanced, and thanks to the hook under my tripod, I could hang my Lowepro backback under it.

I had managed to fit all my camera and lighting gear in my bag, so the extra weight would serve as a perfect sand bag. The Platypod’s minimal quality slid perfectly amongst my various items. This was no doubt a better solition than a bulky C-Stand or a lightweight light stand.

As much as I love to use the Platypod for my cameras, it has also come in very handy as a floor plate- and now as a makeshift lightstand atop my tripod.

By Ian Spanier