Ahh, more Photography Tips….
I love my three legged friend. Some of you will be thinking at this point that my dog has had an accident maybe (oh so true since I drafted this but I digress), or perhaps I befriended a mutant from a science-fiction movie. No, I am talking about my oh-so-heavy, oh-so-cumbersome, oh-so-difficult to carry tripod. It’s heavy, it’s bulky, it’s the wrong shape to carry easily, but the difference it makes to my photos is unreal. It even has bent levers on the panning head but I still love it.
A few reasons, actually but the main one is in all the above drivel that I mistakenly call prose. Namely, it slows me down. It forces me to think and evaluate what is in the viewfinder. Frame precisely. I will arrive at a preferred location, set up my camera on the tripod, then sit down, relax, and look through the viewfinder again after a few minutes have passed to re-visit the image before I press the shutter. [Ah-hem, I might not do that at sunset, but that’s another story 🙂 ]
How many times have you taken a picture and thought ‘wow’ when you look through the viewfinder and press the button. Only to get home, upload to your computer to look at the image for the first time on large-ish screen, and you see a stray person at the very edge of the frame. Or maybe that fence that led so nicely to the edge of the frame actually misses the edge by a few degrees and will be the first ( and eventually the only ) thing you notice about your image. As time passes it goes from a 9/10 image to a ‘please delete me’ kind of reaction (!).
The above photo may not be perfect but my camera would have been on that tripod for many minutes before I actually pressed the shutter. I would have pointed the camera up, down, side to side, zoomed in and out, and moved the tripod legs a little to ensure what I thought was the absolute best composition. Then the longer shutter speed slowed the water flow down.
Use of Telephoto lenses
When you were a kid looking at the moon through a telescope – could you hold it steady? Personally I could never find the damn moon – when I could, it was gone from the viewfinder, never to be found again. Think about it – Can you really hold a telephoto lens steady? No, there, I said it, put the camera on a nice solid tripod. There. Sorted.
Use a Long Exposure
You can get really creative with long exposures, if you so wish.
Other reasons include:-
- Holding the camera aligned both level and steady throughout your composition and shooting. This is invaluable if you want to do panoramas or try bracketing. Some tripods have a bubble level which is brilliant if your camera doesn’t have a digital level.
- The removal of even slightly leaning horizons at time of shooting
- 100% no camera shake! Even with a long lens or low light. No shake is really important if you plan to print large, or even print at all
- Let’s just do it right, eh? First time, every time.
And, hey! – You’ll look like an expert, if that floats your boat, as well.
I have also written this on the different types of tripods you may wish to buy….
Thanks for reading this far
The Berowra Photographer