Monday, August 9, 2010

Five Stones - Courtesy of my Trusty Tripod

7:55 PM. Not exactly prime photo making time up here in the hills of New Hampshire in August. While sunset was officially 7:57 PM tonight, in the forest, surrounded by trees, and between a couple of hills, it's really much darker than you would think for two minutes prior to sunset. This is typically right in the middle of the golden hour, that time of day when the low angle of the sun and the amount of atmosphere that the light has to pass through gives it a beautiful warmth, but along the banks of the Piscataquog River in New Boston (population 5076, 2008), there was no such light this evening.

The most important piece of gear that any photographer should have (after top quality lenses), is a rugged tripod, and while I use my tripod about 99% of the time, this is situation where it really earns it's keep. It takes an un-shootable situation, and gives you the latitude that you need to create the image that you have visualized in your mind.


©2010 Scott Bulger, All Rights Reserved
ISO 400-------f25-------6 seconds-------Polarizing Filter

This shot doesn't get made without the tripod. There's no way to stabilize the camera for that long without one, and the long shutter speed and tiny aperture were mandatory to blur out pieces of debris that were floating by in the current, and to get the proper Depth of Field. The Polarizing Filter was used to eliminate glare, but it also required adding about a stop of exposure. Even under good shooting conditions where you wouldn't normally think about a tripod, the stability that it adds even at faster shutter speeds, will add noticeable sharpness to your images.

Do yourself, and your images, a favor. If you have a tripod, use it. If you don't have a tripod, get one. You won't be sorry.

3 comments:

dawn r. smith PHOTOGRAHY said...

"It takes an un-shootable situation, and gives you the latitude that you need to create the image that you have visualized in your mind."...NICELY PUT...I really like how you reinforced the importance and use of a tripod as part of a photographer's gear...excellent post!

Mr. J said...

Good points, and I know them. Even with a compact tripod, I find that I don't use it nearly enough. Unless it's 2 minutes 'til sunset, and I find a willing subject.

Erika said...

LOVE this!!