Tripod usage

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by Dagwood56, Jun 23, 2009.

  1. Dagwood56

    Dagwood56 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    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. :lol:
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    I use a tripod on occasion, when the light is too low for hand held shooting....but when I'm actually out trying to capture some great landscape shots, I will use a tripod as much as possible.

    Firstly, using a tripod (and remote release or self timer) allows you to all but ignore the shutter speed. This way, you can set the aperture for whatever you want, without worrying about camera shake from longer shutter speeds. It also allows me to shoot at ISO 100, rather than having to bump it up to 400 or 800 to fight camera shake.

    Also, using a tripod tends to slow you down...in a good way. It can force you to put more concentration into your framing and composition. Some might not consider that fun, but I certainly do.
     
  3. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    For most landscapes and city/urbanscapes, I like to use a tripod. If shooting in the day, its like Mike said, it makes me slow down and think. So even if the light is good, instead of just quickly composing a great shot, I'll take the time to set up.

    I also use a tripod for close up work on static objects (flowers, products for example).

    All in all, I'd say about 15% of the time I am using a tripod. I've been getting more into people portraits, sports and event shooting, so I don't have the need for a tripod all that much. But when I can, I do.
     
  4. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    I absolutely agree with that. I have sat many times next to my camera on a tripod waiting for the image I wanted. In landscape: waiting for the right clouds in the right position or for cloud shadows exactly where I want them; or simply waiting for the right light.

    And also in animal photography. I compose my image as to where the different elements of the landscape should be and then I sit waiting for the animal to put himself where I want him.

    A tripod also got me my best sale ever of a single wedding shot. This event was taking place on an old farm with a big old barn where the dancing was taking place. Anyway, the light was gone and I was packing my car for the trip home and I happened to turn around and saw the most beautiful scene.

    Falling deep purple light around the barn and bright incandescent light from inside coming through the planks and the doorway with a view of the dancers inside. The exposure time had to be fairly long to use the sky light so I had to use a tripod but it wasn't so long that the inside was overexposed. I actually got a very nice motion blur on the dancers who were still very recognizable as people.

    When the couple turned the last page of the proof album and saw that photo, they went dead silent for a couple seconds and then it was WOW! WOW! WOW!

    Before anything else they ordered a poster size print of that one. I ended up selling over 25 posters of that image over the next year. Some of the buyers were not even at the wedding.

    I always have with me either a tripod or a little bag filled with sand that I can plop on something to hold the camera.
     
  5. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I use a tripod whenever the shot calls for it for the best results. Like everything else, it is just a tool. A tool designed for a specific purpose and called for in specific situations.

    Although it may not be handy, I prefer the best image possible over handy. But then I'm old school and don't know no better. :D
     
  6. Dagwood56

    Dagwood56 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ahh yes, the bean bag. I have one of those too and I don't mind using that because it's compact and quick to use.
     
  7. NielsGade

    NielsGade TPF Noob!

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    I only use it when I'm taking photos with long shutter speed.
     
  8. EhJsNe

    EhJsNe TPF Noob!

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    I use a tripod a LOT...but then again....a good chunk of my pictures are sunsets....another good chucnk is birds....with my 500mm lens....and i NEED a tripod to keep the lens reletively still. (Also it being such a slow lens...f/8.....I need a tripod to keep the ISO down and my shutter speed around 1/80....a speed i could NEVER hendhold at that focal length...even with a plastic lens with an aperture of 1.2 and VR....its just wont happen)
    I use the tripod so I can forgot about the shutter speed....I use ISO 200 (Lowest my d70 will let me go...kinda annoying..I still get some grain in the sky) and usually f/4 (if my lens is focused to infinity....and everything is infinity away...I dont need to wory about DOF, f/4 is the sharpest aperture of my 50mm f/1.8D (Or at least I think it is....)

    For other things where Noise isnt a big issue...like family pictures...Ill shoot handheld.
     
  9. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I would estimate that 75% of my images are shot from a tripod. In fact, I only hand-hold when it's truly not practical to shoot from a tripod. In the back of my truck right there are at least two tripods and one monopod...
     
  10. itznfb

    itznfb TPF Noob!

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    i rarely use a tripod. it's just such a hassle lugging around. weighs a lot. having to extend and retract the legs, take the camera off the head every time you want to move. it's such a pain, though sometimes necessary.
     
  11. Dagwood56

    Dagwood56 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thanks everyone, this is proving interesting, not quite as one sided as I expected.
     
  12. SonnarSphere

    SonnarSphere TPF Noob!

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    i'd use it collapsed-down and have it stood in a small bag that is suspended by
    a (shoulder) strap around my neck. the bag rests on my abdomen around waist-level
    .. so it's more like a mobile monopod, with the view finder just above eye-level -
    apply some downward pressure to look through it and that makes it very steady.
    it's a mobile way to use it in the countryside (if you also have the camera-strap
    around your neck, you can climb over fences, move through obstacles etc and
    still have use of both hands free, without dropping it). since i sold my long
    lenses, i don't bother with it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2009

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