Words by Larry Tiefenbrunn
Edited by Eryka Bagwell
A Kickstarter campaign is a grueling experience both physically and emotionally so as you can imagine, by the time mid April 2022 rolled around, Mina and I just needed a break. The painfully quiet midsection of a Kickstarter campaign is often a bit of a lull and sometimes referred to as the “Valley of Tears” because most of the excitement of the campaign exists in the first two and last two days.
We chose to get out of town and travel to the Middle East where we stayed in a lovely hotel in Jerusalem. Here, the highlight of each day was usually breakfast, a lavish buffet spread with almost any morning delicacy the heart could desire. To capture one of these delicious moments, I placed my new pre-production Platypod eXtreme on our table and mounted the Platyball Elite and my Nikon D850 camera with a 35 mm Tamron lens. This set up was just perfect for a tabletop portrait, self-timer at 10 seconds delay, capturing us with our yummy dishes. The waiters did not give us a hard time because we did not have any obtrusive tripod on the ground for people to trip over.
"Another highlight was our excursion to a nearby stalactite cave in Beit Shemesh. Being part of a nature reserve, the rules of this cave were very strict about not using tripods. We also had to move relatively quickly because we were only allowed 20 minutes in this cave (which was tightly controlled for temperature). Specifically, the humidity and carbon dioxide content is managed in order to preserve the stalactites and stalagmites. I captured several exposures during this time by mounting my Platypod eXtreme on the railing which consisted of a curved vertical pole to which a marine type rope cable was attached. I leaned the front of the eXtreme on the curved part of the pole and dug the forward angled spikes into the cable forming a perfect tripod. With a 14-24 mm zoom lens I was able to capture this perfectly sharp image even at 1/15 of a second.
I have to say that the lighting was horrible! The very orange sodium lamps made for a hellish color but I think the detail came out really nice in grayscale. In the right third of the image you can see a stalactite and stalagmite almost touching and forming a full column. I guess if I come back in 100 years they will have joined.
As I always recommend to my friends, when a regular tripod just won’t do (or is not allowed), Platypod gets the job done every time! Be sure to visit our website here to pre-order your Platypod eXtreme with adjustable spiked feet in order to capture a variety of angles in various eXtreme environments. You can also purchase our Platyball Elite ball head which will assist you in quick level captures at the push and lock of a button using a single hand.