Three Reasons To Use A Tripod

15 01 2010

Are you tired of being being disappointed in your photographs?Do you want to take your photography to the next level? One simple way to step your game up is to learn when to use a tripod.

Here are three key reasons in photography that I use my tripod: Image Stabilization, Long Exposure Photography and Creative Photography.

IMAGE STABILIZATION

Stabilization : Yellowstone National Park, MT

Although most lenses have a built in image stabilization feature – sometimes it is not enough. When using my telephoto lenses I use my tripod as often as I can. This way I can reduce the shake of the camera caused by the lens being extended at length. A good rule of thumb is anytime your shutter speed is equal to or less than your focal length -get out the tripod. (ex. 300m < 1/300 or 200mm < 1/200.)

LONG EXPOSURE PHOTOGRAPHY

Lake Yellowstone : Yellowstone, MT

When an exposure over 1/15 is used I highly recommend using the tripod. Long Exposures are needed to capture vibrant colors in low light situations. Two perfect examples of this would be sunsets and fireworks. You may be able to get away with shorter exposure times for sunsets but a stop action photograph of fireworks just doesn’t work. By increasing the exposure length the trails and colors of the fireworks are more vivid and dramatic. It is nearly impossible to keep the camera still for the duration needed to utilize long exposures.

CREATIVE PHOTOGRAPHY

Fast Motion : South Mountain / Phoenix, AZ

In some situations you may want to extend your creativity and blur motion. This can only be done with the use of a tripod. By combining your tripod with the proper settings all static items will remain still in the photograph while objects moving will be blurred. This technique takes time and a lot of trial and error. It took me over two hours to get the above photo. (If you want to experiment with this type of photography I suggest you check the settings of this photo on my flickr page and be prepared to exercise some patience.)

The tripod is also essential if you need to bracket exposures. Bracketing exposures create images that are +1 fstop from the original setting and -1 fstop from the original setting. This technique is helpful to make sure you captured the image perfectly or if you plan on making the set of  photos into a HDR (High Dynamic Range) image.

These are by no means the only reasons to use a tripod. Unless I am photographing concerts I always have my tripod with me – you never know when it’s going to be put to use. (As demonstrated below!) How do you use your tripod? When does it get used the most? Please share your thoughts and experience below.

Lower Salt River Photo by KBL

To view my complete photography portfolio please visit www.grtaylor2photo.com

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2 responses

19 01 2010
Scentsy

Your photography is beautiful. Very inspiring!

19 01 2010
GRTaylor2

Thank you! I really appreciate it. Feel free to post links to some of your photography in any of the applicable comment sections. Please tell a friend about this blog! Thanks. GRT2

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