Is This Platypod Ultra One of the World's Most-Traveled Tripods?
I’m Dave Williams, a Platypod fanatic and travel photographer based out of the UK. I’ve been keeping a close eye on Platypod for a while now, and I reckon I could potentially own the world’s most-traveled Platypod Ultra. Here it is:
It’s a very clever part of the design to have machined this thing from aircraft-grade aluminium, which has helped to hold my Platypod Ultra together in one piece of rigid photography pleasure inducing magic. To say that I treat my gear well is a lie. I’ll be honest: everything gets thrown about a bit, dropped, and put through extremes when it comes to climates and environments.
A little bit of adding up put the mileage on my Platypod Ultra at circa 25,844 air miles, and then about another 10,000 on land and at sea. My Platypod Ultra has hit the soil of 21 countries (England, Scotland, Iceland, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, Austria, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Italy, Vatican City, Portugal, Morocco, Turkey, USA). For a little perspective: the equator is 24,901 miles, so my Platypod Ultra is nearly half way through the equivalent of its second trip around.
What I do is travel the world in search of images and stories of the best places I can find — places which are trending as destinations, both in specific and general terms, which I do for commission or under my own steam for stock. I also produce educational and informative content relating to photography and travel along the way.
The kind of customers I have are Lonely Planet, TIME, Getty Images, The Times, National Geographic, as well as brands themselves and the agencies who work on their behalves. It’s fast paced, it’s hard work, and the briefs can range from being extremely particular to being outrageously generic.
Further to that, I work to promote Platypod, BlackRapid, Drobo, and Wandrd, and work very closely with KelbyOne as editor of Layers Magazine, weekly contributor to Scott Kelby’s Photoshop Insider, and as an instructor. Oh, and I promote the power of print together with Sim Imaging in the UK. And teach. And write a lot for Photoshop User Magazine. Yeah, it’s as simple and as complicated as that! My life, therefore, is pretty hectic, so I need equipment I can trust to ensure I deliver the best I possibly can.
Being fit for the job is essential in travel photography. A lot of time is spent moving from place to place, and the gear has to be particularly hard-wearing to meet the stresses placed on it. Those stresses are avoided wherever possible, but it’s not always practical to avoid everything, and in the quest for the best photos, there will inevitably be some bumps and bruises sustained along the way. The Platypod is made in such a way that it carries well. It fits in small spaces, even in trouser pockets, and can be attached to the outside of camera bags to even further save on precious space when it’s at an absolute premium. This again is another little exposure to risk, but it’s a risk the Platypod stares in the face!
The extreme temperatures I’ve put this thing through are also not a problem at all. From the intense heat of an enormous salt pan in mid-summer, right down to the bitter cold of an arctic winter at night, there’s not even the slightest hint of a warp, fracture, or other weakness in this top-quality design. It’s for good reason that Platypod has the confidence to offer a 5-year warranty.
Here's the thing, though: with all that I’ve put my Platypod Ultra through, it’s absolutely rock solid. It’s portability and durability combined with its practicality make it a stand-out solution to all the situations where I need a tripod. It’s not only served me well up to this point, but it looks as though it’s going to continue to travel the world with me in search of vista after vista, helping me in capturing the beauty of the world as I see it so I can continue to show you what I see. The ultimate point here is that for the security of my provision of great images, which is what keeps me in a job, I must have something which performs reliably, consistently, and is fit for purpose. This, the Platypod, is it!
Dave Williams is a UK-based travel photographer and editor of Layers Magazine, produced by KelbyOne. Find him at capturewithdave.com and on Instagram, too!