Motivation is a photography blog that discusses the creative aspects of photography. The posts will include thoughts about images and their interpretation, photographers and their work, technique, workflow, my ongoing projects, and perhaps even the occasional off topic rant.

A Better Moustrap....The Flowerpod

In a past post, I wrote a brief review about the McClamp, a device used to hold a flower or plant steady when doing macro-photography. At that time, I mentioned that I thought the device was superior to the Plamp, a similar 'gadget' made by another company. Until the McClamp became available, the Plamp, for all its warts, was the device used for macro work while outdoors in the wind.

Well, it is now time for even McClamp to step aside for what I feel is the best aid in doing plant and flower macro work.......Les Saucier's Flowerpod. If you have read some of my posts about the Photography With Heart Workshops, you might recall Less as one of the three primary "With Heart" photographers.

So what exactly is so great about the Flowerpod? Well, Les has looked at all the problems that could occur with these devices as they now stand and, taking them into account, has re-designed clamping gadgets from the ground up. Actually, I hate to call it a gadget, which seems to be trivializing it.....anyone who has done outdoor macro knows how indispensable something like this is. Frankly, it very frequently means the difference between getting a sharp, well-composed image....or not.

So, what are the potential problems with the McClamp? As good as I thought it was, there were still some issues:

1) It had to be 'stuck' in the ground...a problem on rocky terrain

2) If you used the variety that clamps to the tripod (because the ground is rocky) any movement of the tripod while trying to recompose also moves the plant or flower.

3) You are out of luck if the plant is tall...unless you want to go with the clamp to tripod plan, which is very frustrating, as noted above.

3) Despite the soft foam in the clamp, I still would, at times, accidentally damage the stalk of the plant when trying to make fine adjustments to the flower's position. The reason for this is that you generally need to 'overshoot' in the adjustment to get the flower to be where you want it. At least that was my experience.

4) Not sturdy enough to hold a flashlight or, at times, a background.

The Flowerpod addresses and solves all these problems. Fist of all, have a look at it here.

As you can see, all four of the above issues are dealt with by the Flowerpod's carefully thought out design and yet it is still small, light, and very mobile! I could repeat all the information that is on Les' Flowerpod web page, but it would be easiest to simply have a look at it yourself. In addition, the illustrations with photos make the description much clearer than I can with words.

In brief, since I brought up the 4 points above, I will just mention that problems #1 and 2 are solved by having a tripod that holds the flower clamp so that it can be used in any terrain. Problems #3 and 4 are addressed not only with the tripod, but with a specialty clamp that can be easily adjusted in very fine increments.

Why am I going on and on about this? Let me say that I have no financial interest at all in the Flowerpod. I just like seeing a 'better' product that has had a lot of thought and effort put into it. And, as one that enjoys macro-photography and has suffered through some of the frustrations associated with it, I know this is a product that will help me nail more shots. So move over Plamp and McClamp....there is a new 'player' in town....check out the Flowerpod and see what you think.