The slightest camera movement can ruin a landscape image and I am sure most serious photographers know that. Yet, for some reason, a good tripod isn’t high on some photographers’ list of priorities. I expect that’s mostly because of our constant wanting to have more money to spend on quality lenses or camera bodies. And of course the misconception of a few that they don’t kneed a tripod.
I opened my shop for the first time in over a month and, of course, there were local photographers that had problems with their cameras and lenses that stopped by, but some seeing my Open sign just came in to say hello and tell me what they had been doing.
I didn’t open the till much, but I had a good day talking about photography.
I started this article with some words about tripods because yesterday I was asked about calibrating lenses.
The photographer was thinking about replacing her lens because some of her photos were not sharp. She was in a hurry, I explained a bit about calibration and I told her we could do it sometime when she had time and she left.
As she walked out the door I turned to my friend Drew and said, “I wonder if she only used program modes”. He replied, “ You should sell her a tripod”.
I didn’t even think of that. Sometimes the simplest solutions escape us.
Tripods give your camera the stability it needs to perform at its best. That’s not really a groundbreaking statement. My opinion is, even if one has steady hand, it’s still not as good as the stability that a good solid tripod can provide.
And the more stable your camera is the sharper the photos it can capture.
Blurriness is one of the primary culprits of a bad scenic photo, so the more one uses a tripod, the better the photos will be.
I wonder how many times I have said, “If you don’t like using a tripod it means you never have used a good one, and I stand by that statement.
In today’s market it is very acceptable to spend extra money on “vibration reduction” or “image stabilizing” lenses in the belief that this technology will allow the photographer to do photography without the use of a tripod.
The difference between a blurry and a sharp enlargement isn’t megapixels or vibration reduction lenses; it is a good stable tripod. I don’t mean to say we shouldn’t get image stabilizing lenses as they are great to have and use in certain situations and conditions when you can’t use a tripod and must use slower shutter speeds, but using a good tripod that allows you to stand up straight and take your time to analyze, problem solve, compose and contemplate is an excellent experience.
In recent years more and more quality tripods have become available and are worth owning and using. There are many brands available and all one needs to do is spend some time researching to find one that suits them.
This is an interesting topic, John, and you offer words of wisdom regarding achieving sharp images that deserve to be repeated. Another couple of reasons that folks are reluctant to use a tripod could be because it’s another piece of equipment to carry around and it takes time to set up – not a good thing in this era of instant gratification. In addition, many see using a tripod as geeky and uncool – popular culture and advertisements rarely show photographers using a tripod. They always show footloose and fancy-free photographers moving through a shoot (often fashion photography) at a frenetic pace as they “capture the moment”. But people forget about the fact that the photographer has also set up his battery of lights to freeze the action and still deliver a sharp image, albeit handheld.
I agree that many photographers just don’t want to carry addition equipment and are even changing to mirrorless to reduce the size of their camera bag.
And “instant gratification” is a good word with all of the cellphone shooters.
I use a tripod a lot at home, for macro and portraits, but must confess I don’t lump it about with me when on my outings.