Low Angle Northern Hawk Owl with Māris Olivers

Words by Māris Olivers
Edited by Eryka Bagwell

"I’m Māris Olivers, a photographer from Latvia, and I’ve lived in the Lofoten Islands for about two years. Lofoten has so much to offer, such as beautiful landscapes, hikes, numerous activities and stunning wildlife."

"One of my Lofoten goals has always been to nail my perfect owl photo to be proud of. I can`t say I have got it, but I can say that I’m headed in the right direction. Owls are incredibly smart and fast birds, making them difficult to capture. When I was trying to get the best angle for my attempt, I ended up being in the way of two other photographers who were doing the same thing, and I was getting shots that were very similar to theirs. I wanted to get a unique shot. Then I had an idea, and I asked my friend, Dave Williams (a Platypod Pro), If I could try his Platypod rig for my shot. That allowed me to shoot lower than the other guys and get the angle I wanted without disturbing my friends. I must say, I'm really impressed by how easy it was to use the Platypod rig and how well it handled the weight of my camera along with my telephoto lens."

"I was shooting with a Nikon Z 6 II and Tamron 60-600mm lens, using the Platypod eXtreme and Platyball Ergo. It was a cold day and snowing, but the controls on the Platyball made it easy to adjust the camera. The Platypod held my gear up well in the snow. I processed my shots in Adobe Lightroom, and I’m delighted that I could shoot upwards toward the owl instead of shooting laterally or from above like my friends were."

"We were shooting a Northern Hawk Owl, a migratory bird that spends winter here in Lofoten. To get the shots, we use mice that the factories trap, meaning they aren’t merely disposed of, which means we can help provide food in this harsh climate and get unique photos. Speaking of unique, I placed a mouse on Dave’s camera and got a shot of the owl coming in to take it away."

"This experience has me asking 'What else can I do with the Platypod rig?' I can’t wait to try some new ideas that I had in mind."

To view more of Māris' work visit and add him on Instagram


Have you signed up to get our free educational newsletter for photographers? If not, we're offering YOU 15% off of your purchase (just for signing up). Visit our website and look to the very TOP red banner (rotating) and sign up for our mailing list today to take advantage!

We want to hear from you, our community! If you have a final image, behind-the-scenes (BTS with your Platypod gear) and a URL (to view more of your work) that you’d like to share with us, you may have a chance to be featured on one (or all) of the platforms below! We love sharing new artists and their unique ways they use our gear on our blog, social media and monthly newsletter, please contact us via service@platypod.com and/or social@platypod.com