eXtreme Panning through Elite landscapes with Dave Williams

Words by Dave Williams
Edited by Eryka Bagwell

Ever since I first held the Platyball Elite I was intrigued at its ingenious design. It’s a re-invented ball head, turned on its head to allow stable panning. I’ve put it to the test a few times but on a recent trip to Iceland I've since found a perfect location to use the Platyball Elite and Platypod eXtreme in tandem to capture a sweeping landscape.

Iceland is my favorite country on earth and it’s packed full of incredible vistas. This particular location, at the end of a twisting, gravel mountain road, is Iceland’s second highest waterfall, Haífoss. A short hike at the end of the road leads to several spots that give spectacular views of the waterfall and the river that flows from it, and it’s this view I decided to take advantage of.

Finding a suitable location to place my Platypod eXtreme was fairly easy. Balancing it by using the four spiked screw-feet to adjust the height of each corner to match the terrain was quick and easy, meaning I had more time to think creatively thanks to the fast setup time. I mounted my camera in portrait orientation and planned to shoot a panorama from right to left. The reason I mounted the camera in portrait orientation is to have the maximum pixel height in the panorama.

My shots from right to left were overlapped by about a third, giving plenty of reference points for the panorama blend when I got back to the computer. I needed four shots in this instance which were merged in Adobe Lightroom and I processed the image there and in Adobe Photoshop to achieve my desired result.

The ability to pan the camera on the Platyball Elite without changing any other configuration, giving a flat pan based on the design, is a complete game-changer. The standard ball head often results in a tilt when panning because the entire rig must be moved but the Platyball removes all of that with its upside-down design, giving a perfect pan. It’s such a simple difference, but it has an enormous impact on creativity. I’m keen to see what comes off the Platypod drawing board next!

To hear more from Dave, you can either visit his website by clicking here and/or visit the Epic Photography Podcast by clicking here or listening in on your favorite podcast provider. To shop the Platypod eXtreme and Platyball Elite (amongst other products) visit our website by clicking here.