Thursday, February 20, 2020

The Splat

When I'm taking photos and people are watching, the question I'm asked the most is "What's that blue tripod thing?"

An invaluable part of my kit, the Miggo Splat is a flexible set of legs that can be bent to shape to suit the job in hand. I bought it to replace a Gorillapod as I was wearing these out in 6 months. I hadn't intended to go Splat, but the camera shop I visited had one, I like it and have never changed my opinion.

The device has enjoyed at least 3 years use now and is still as good as new. Its flexibility is incredibly handy as you can see from this shot by John Gray of me photographing his layout Byway MPD last weekend.

Each rubber-coated metal leg is 16cm long, measured from the centre and the thing can be flattened for transporting a bag or tucked into your back pocket when working. I suspect that while you could hang a DSLR on the top (I have) the centre of gravity would demand a little more thinking than with a compact. Not much though.


You can buy a Splat from Amazon.


Anonymous said...

Hi Phil - they do a bigger one for DSLR's

James Finister said...

Some other things that make life easier:

I have a selection of tripods/tripod substitutes The one I end up using most is a cheapish 50cm Neewer model. It is a compromise in every way, but that also makes it very useful. The only things it isn't any good for are portraits and astrophotography. And at a pinch it can do portraits if resting on a table.

I also use a walking stick monopod. That comes in really useful at shows where you can't set up a tripod. I should set up a Kickstarter campaign for the ideal shooting stick/monopod.

Most useful of all are Arca Swiss/Peak Design quick-release tripod heads, with base plates attached to the camera. It makes setting up a tripod shot a lot easier. The PD range also allows me to attach the camera to my belt, which again is very useful at shows.

Then, of course, there is the question of camera. At exhibitions, I've learned the hard way that some cameras are more suitable than others. If you have a flip-up/rotatable screen then use it, it is a real aid to getting more realistic perspective in shots. Also, look at what focusing aids you have available and use them. I have some really good cameras that just don't work on a show floor.

And don't underestimate the cameras in the current generation of phones. They aren't a panacea, but they are good. I probably take 50% of my photos at shows with my phone. But do learn how they work, and which aids can become a problem in certain conditions.

Photographers make fun of people who constantly check their photos between shots, but in an exhibition it is vital.

Two final comments. Photographers need to be aware of other people. Just because you have a bigger lens than me doesn't give you any more rights. At the same time, nothing is worse than being jostled whilst trying to take a photo. Well the bread rolls at Peterborough Arena, they are a lot worse.