Portrait Light Setup with Platypod Ultra by Gilmar Smith

By Gilmar Smith

As we've said before, the Platypod is more than just a sturdy plate to support your camera. Its versatility has no limits; you just have to be creative! Today I'm going to show you one of the many ways I use mine.

Recently, I challenged myself to create beautiful light using my Platypod Ultra. I love photography, I love light, and I love being able to create anywhere I go. But, to be honest, I don't want to carry a whole lot of gear with me. I wish I could, but most photography equipment is heavy and bulky. Combined with having back problems, it's not a good combination.

So below is a setup I tried in the comfort of my home with my daughter as a model. You could easily take this setup with you in your camera bag without sacrificing your back.

Here is what I used:

  • My Platypod Ultra with a Platypod 3" spigot adapter (available in the Multi Accessory Kit and other Platypod bundles),
  • An Impact Deluxe umbrella mount with adjustable shoe
  • My Nikon SB-900
  • W Westcott Optical White Satin Diffusion 32" Umbrella set up 45 degrees from my camera on my kitchen counter.

To have better control of the light and see how the light was behaving, I used a V flat from Vflatworld on the black side.


Then, I shot a few pictures of my daughter. The quality of light was wonderful and the kit worked fantastically!


Knowing how versatile the Platypod is, I can imagine all the ways a set up like this could be used. You could easily strap this to a pole or a tree. You could strap it to a rail, or even set it on top of a trash can or mailbox. The possibilities are endless! The same goes for light modifiers. You don't need to stick to an umbrella. You could use a Magsphere or a Magbounce, a snoot, or even use color gels on your lighting to be a little more creative!

Go out and try this setup for yourself. Make sure to tag #platypod on your posts so we can see your images!