I remember 4 years ago when I was taking a photography workshop, I borrowed my brother’s gear: his camera bag with the SLR body and all his lenses and filters, even his tripod. The bag was heavy enough and with the tripod, I was a walking accident. I never really got to use that tripod anyway. Silly me.
Enter the Gorillapod. It’s not a bulky 6-foot tripod, but it can go up to 6 ft or higher, given the right tree or other object I can secure it to. You can actually secure it to almost anything, even wine bottles (yes, I’ve tried it). And the best thing about it? I can fit inside my teeny handbag!
From the official Joby website:
The Gorillapod is the ideal camera accessory for photographers on the go. Throw it in your pocket or backpack and you’ll be ready for your next adventure! While the Gorillapod serves all the functions of a traditional camera tripod – steadying your camera under low-light conditions, taking timed group shots, etc. – it is the only tripod malleable enough to provide you with the perfect shot while wrapped around a tree branch, hanging from a pole, or perched on a jagged rock. The possibilities are endless!
The bendy legs are fun. It’s every frustrated contorionists’ wet dream. You can bend and twist it whichever way to fit the contour of the object you’re securing your camera to. Each joint has a rubber grip in it, so your Gorillapod won’t easily slip when it’s attached.
I have the Original Gorillapod, which is suitable for compact point & shoot cameras. As you can see, it worked well with the Canon Powershot cameras, as well as the Canon Ixus line. Joby also have two variants for SLR cameras: the Gorillapod SLR and the Gorillapod SLR-Zoom. To know which Gorillapod is for you, head on to Joby’s Gorillapod selector tool.
Thanks to the Gorillapod, I was able to take photos under low-light conditions, which would’ve turned out blurred had I took it with shaky hands:
The last picture was obviously thrown in to balance the photo layout But as you can see, the Gorillapod (or any tripod for that matter) is perfect if you’re to shy to ask random strangers to take your photo while you all lie down on your tummy in the hotel corridor.
Nina’s tip on using the Gorillapod:
- Secure the legs first before clipping your camera to the Gorillapod.
- Double lock your camera using the lock ring. I used to hate having to use the lock ring, because it was a pain to unlock, but one time I pressed the release button accidentaly and my camera started slipping off. Good thing I caught it on time! So yes, utilize the lock ring!
- Straight is boring! Well, not really boring, but not as stable as bending in various positions. Err, that still doesn’t sound right. When using the Gorillapod on a flat surface, it’s better to bend the legs (ala octopus) to make it more stable. I had one instance of my Gorillapod tipping because I didn’t position the legs properly.
- Ensure that it’s secure. Again, double check your Gorillapod is secure and stable before clipping in your camera.
- Put one leg forward. I find that it’s best to position one of the legs in front, specially when using heavier point and shoot cameras when using the Gorillapod on a flat surface. I guess it balances the weight of the lens when it’s..erm…extended?