I'm curious as to how many people here use a tripod and more specifically, how often do you use it? What percentage of your photos are taken while the camera is on a tripod? Do you use it only for those "special shots" or is your camera all but welded to the tripod head. Personally, I hate using a tripod, though since I got my digital camera I'm beginning to feel that a tripod seems to be a necessity in getting really sharp images. Then again I'm not as steady on my feet as I used to be, but that aside, I have always found a tripod to be cumbersome to use and I feel really limited when using one as to what I can shoot - when hiking I can't very well tell a bird or rabbit or bug to wait while I get my equipment set up and for me sitting and waiting for them to come to me\ walk in the path of the camera, takes 98% of the fun out of photography. Over the years, I have only used a tripod a handful of times; the shots were posed portraits, low light shots, or something abstract that I needed "extra hands" to shoot. My husband on the other hand is one of the other photogs - his camera has been on the tripod so long I think its welded there.