3 Months. 1 Tripod. A review of the VEO Travel Tripod - model 235 AB.
Recently, I undertook what I consider to be, by far, my craziest photographic endeavor yet. In January, I established a goal of traveling to 6 different countries around the world to help photographers grow in their inspiration, motivation, and technique as artists. My buddy Rob Woodcox and I decided we’d take on the massive the adventure together, and set an itinerary that covered Brazil, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, India, and Australia.
We took the idea to our sponsors at Vanguard Photo US, who wanted to be a part of the project, and we brought along their new VEO Travel tripods and bags to each destination of the tour - effectively testing the merit of their new VEO travel tripod line against 3 months of rigorous travel.
To be certain, I did a little bit of math. This VEO tripod traveled 40,000 miles around the world with me, in a complete circle to and from Portland, OR, USA, where I spend half of my time. The tripod has also travel to that exact same height upwards in the sky 23 times in the last three months. It fit in to every bag I brought (except my passport purse, which, come on - so cute), and is so easy to store in overhead luggage bins - even AirAsia, if any of you know the woes....
Most times, the tripod sat outside of my bag in the VEO’s tripod side holder. It was so handy for traveling, because with such a tight schedule - roughly 10-20 days in each country we visited - I had to create images on-the-fly, developing concepts while exploring and breathing in a new culture and city and lifestyle and landscape - over, and over, and over.
The best thing about this tripod is it’s weight. I’ve traveled long distances with other Vanguard tripods (which really aren’t meant for travel) to places as far as Uganda and China. My back hurt and my arms were sore. But I can literally carry this tripod with my pinky through an entire airport, which I had to do in Brazil when they made me take it out for scanning when I had a flight to catch with just minutes to spare! Haha.
The design of this tripod is unrivaled in comparison to other ultra-compact tripods I’ve used, like Manfrotto. The center column just flips up and locks in to place. The whole set up take roughly 20 seconds. Insane. So useful for moments I wanted to captured quickly while on tour. But more than that, this tripod was sturdy. Not only did it provide a great support for my Canon 5D Mark II, but it also doubled up as a weapon against attackers when my girlfriend, Kiara and I, accidentally left a camera on the trail after dark in southern Australia.
After 3 months of use and abuse, the only issue I experience with the tripod was a rubber foot on one of the legs which became stuck from the sand in Brazil. Other than that, this thing has put up with rain, sleet, sand, mud, humidity, 110 degree heat (that’s fahrenheit), 6 countries, 40,000 travel miles and it’s still going strong. I’m in love.
If I had to choose the top two things in that I was proud of accomplishing during my photography career thus far, the first would be my 365 day photography project four years ago, which launched my career as an artist, throwing me face-first into the most colorful world of art and relationships I’ve ever experienced. I even met a girl from Australia during that time, four years ago, who’s now my girlfriend. Crazy what life throws at you. The second thing that I’m so incredibly proud to have accomplished is this workshop tour. 3 months of the most exhilarating, fascinating, beautiful traveling, alongside the difficulties of language and culture barriers, transit spazzes, illness, and a death in my family, the good was not without the bad.
And this tripod made the entire thing that much easier. Through the mountains of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the Monasteries of Northern Italy, the islands of Japan, the forests of Vietnam, the busy streets of India, or the wide-open ocean of Australia, here’s only one way I could have done this - only with VEO.
I'm on a mission to show that the light will always pierce through the darkness.