Camera technology has advanced so much that just about anyone can take good photos. Not necessarily great photographs, because that’s more to do with composition, subject material, the efficient use of light and shadow etc. Nevertheless, if there’s one item that helps in taking better shots, it’s the common-or-garden tripod. Many people believe that a tripod is just nothing however an additional item that helps us stop camera shake. With high ISO capabilities in new cameras, with increased shutter speeds significantly in low light conditions, then why do we need a tripod? This article looks at the many alternative ways a tripod can make us higher photographers or on the very least, enhance our capabilities in using a camera.
The obvious use of a tripod is that it affords stability to the camera and avoids camera shake by the operator in those situations the place longer exposure instances are necessary. Not many people can hold a camera steady much under 1/60s shutter pace, so now we have no likelihood of avoiding camera shake when the publicity time could possibly be seconds or minutes or generally hours in length. Examples of these times are:
Night shots: star trails, firework displays, moon photographs, cityscapes, and vehicle movement the place blurring the lights is sought.
Motion blur: waterfalls, sports action, and ocean wave movement.
Low light conditions without the usage of flash.
We all like to produce photos which are as sharp as we will get. The tripod assists in acquiring clear focus, particularly if we use timer delays or distant shutter releases, as even when urgent the shutter button can cause the camera to shake.
Talking about timer delays, the tripod is a boon when making delayed action movies. A number of hundred or thousand individual images of an object are shot at predetermined intervals and run collectively to give these wonderful movies of flowers opening, cloud movement or of decaying objects. The camera not only needs to be steady however to be in the same position for each shot. The tripod can also be pretty helpful in establishing a gaggle with you in it because the photographer, using the timer delay on the camera.
If you are taking panorama photographs or action pictures where a steady panning motion is needed, the tripod is a must. A tip I picked up along the way was to use a large elastic band on the arm of the tripod head. Pulling on the elastic band, when panning, reduces any jerkiness of movement which produces an excellent over all result.
If you’re into HDR dynamic photographs, and many photographers are immediately, you will need a tripod for auto bracketing. This allows you to take several similar photographs of the subject at completely different exposures. Whenever you process the shots in your favourite image editing software, they can be mixed to produce these wonderful pictures the place everything is dynamically exposed.
I’m an ardent macro photographer and there may be nothing more frustrating than attempting to get a really small object into focus, such as bugs on flowers. All too usually, the insect eyes are in focus however different areas on the insect which are marginally further away, are too blurry. To overcome this I exploit small aperture settings to provide a large depth of field which in turn means slower shutter speeds. A tripod turns out to be useful in these situations. I additionally use sliding bracket attachments where the camera sits on the bracket and where I can finely adjust the camera movement in planes. I can produce some really finely targeted images this way.
One way that a tripod is useful, and never essentially in an obvious way, is that it gives us time to compose our shots instead of taking instantaneous handheld snap shots wherever we are. While this has its place in images, we generally need to gradual down, stand back and fine tune our composition to be able to produce dramatic landscapes, for example.
Another less obvious use of a tripod is camera placement. Being able to capture low level pictures or better than head degree may be achieved with a tripod, without having to lie on the ground or climb a step ladder.
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