How do *you* use a tripod?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Mendoza, Nov 11, 2009.

  1. Mendoza

    Mendoza TPF Noob!

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    Howdy. I've been doing amateur photography for a number of years but have only started using a tripod fairly recently (on any consistent basis.) I usually like to move around a lot when I'm taking pictures for the sake of framing and composition.
    My question is this: How do you personally determine the placement of your tripod? Do you just use your eyes to guesstimate the best position? Do you keep the camera attached and move the camera+tripod around to find suitable framing? Do you detach the camera, find the "best" spot, and set the tripod up there?
    I know a lot of this has to do with the subject. You can have all week to set up a tripod for a still life shot, but taking a landscape at sunrise or sunset on uneven terrain is tricky.
     
  2. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    That's what I do - after picking a spot that looks good (with just my eyes).

    I'll usually know pretty much where I'll want to be before putting the camera to my eye. After I look through the viewfinder I'll fine-tune my position - a foot this way, a foot that way - whatever it may be.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2009
  3. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Depends for me - if its a landscape type or still life I'll tend to move the camera around whilst on the tripod toget an idea of where to position it and then lock the legs into position.
    If its a staging spot for watching something - like wildlife (or as the other week motorboats) then its more a case of getting an idea for framing (via the above method) whilst also getting a good spot to sit in as well
    If its a macro shot I tend to go much slower and setup the tripod first, getting things into a rough position first and then fine tuning with the camera and controls (And hopeing that I don't have to move the tripod or legs much)
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    If I'm moving from place to place (within reason), I will leave the camera attached to the tripod...but I keep the camera strap around my hand. I don't trust the quick release plate that much.

    When I have to walk farther, or jump back in the car, the camera comes off the tripod.

    The important thing to note, is that a QRP (quick release plate) makes it so much easier to use a tripod.
     
  5. mtfd635

    mtfd635 TPF Noob!

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    Locate n compose by eye, fine tune on the tripod.
    I have the older version of manfrotto 0155prob and qr plate. Gives me great flexibilty to place the camera where I want/need it.
    Variable angle legs are great on rough terrain!
    Center post switching to horizontal is another great option getting camera to best position spotted by eye
     
  6. Rekd

    Rekd TPF Noob!

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    The tripod I use the most has been highly modified. So much so that now it no longer has the capacity to hold a camera. However, id DOES hold a dart board at just the right height, meaning I can play darts on the beach or in the desert if I want. ;)
     
  7. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    As a light stand...I think that's the last time I used my tripod...
     
  8. John Sampson

    John Sampson TPF Noob!

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    If setting up a tripod is tricky for you, you should sell pizzas!
     
  9. maoparungao

    maoparungao TPF Noob!

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    I use a manfrotto tripod (forgot the model) Usually I use the tripod to take shots in slow speeds. If you are taking landscapes try to shoot early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Then close the aperture and adjust your speed. I usually look for a nice view or angle then I set up my tripod. I also bought an adapter for my tripod which can hold flash and an umbrella reflector, very useful when shooting food and small items.
     
  10. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    For landscapes or night stuff, you find what you want, place the tripod, yank the camera on w/ or w/o QRP as Mike pointed out, and take your shot.
    Portraits are a bit different. When I started shooting, I was using tripod, since that is how I was taught: set the lights, meter, look through viewfinder, select focal length, set focus point (talking digital here), and shoot. Over time, I found that using tripod slows me down a bit thus today it is really a 50/50 thing. I bring it on the job, set it up and often enough use it to hold the camera rather then shoot with it :) :( it is really a matter of style.
     
  11. Provo

    Provo TPF Noob!

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    I am new to this but I like to visualized what my end result would be so I position the tripod accordingly, but once the camera is mounted to the tripod I do move it around at times to get the framing results I need. But keep in my I am just getting my feet wet on this.
     
  12. altitude604

    altitude604 TPF Noob!

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    I only have a small 12"ish Tripod so normally i'll compose by eye, set it up and then fine tune through the Live View function on the Camera.
     

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