The Practicing Photographer

Using a tripod


From:

The Practicing Photographer

with Ben Long

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Video: Using a tripod

I really love a good tripod and I can go on and look there's a giant bug flying around. I can go on at length about really nerdy details about tripods from the advantages of particular kinds of latches, to my preference for some materials and let's not even get started on heads. I currently own three tripods, a really nice monopod and a couple of different heads. So, if I'm such a tripod maniac, how come in most of the courses you see, here on lynda.com, I'm not using a tripod, I'm not even carrying one, I'm going handheld.
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  1. 4m 5s
    1. Reasons for shooting images alone NEW
      4m 5s
  2. 1m 35s
    1. Introducing The Practicing Photographer
      1m 35s
  3. 11h 15m
    1. Choosing a camera
      5m 27s
    2. Looking at light as a subject
      2m 22s
    3. Using a small reflector to add fill light
      5m 45s
    4. Editing photo metadata with PhotosInfo Pro for iPad
      6m 30s
    5. Let your lens reshape you
      7m 26s
    6. Compositing street photography images with Photoshop
      7m 44s
    7. Expand your filter options with step-up and step-down rings
      3m 56s
    8. Shooting without a memory card
      3m 6s
    9. Give yourself a year-long assignment
      5m 28s
    10. Working with reflections
      1m 26s
    11. Exploring mirrorless cameras
      7m 25s
    12. Batch processing photos with the Adobe Image Processor
      7m 30s
    13. Limiting yourself to a fixed-focal-length lens
      2m 13s
    14. Creating tiny worlds: Shooting technique
      4m 15s
    15. Creating tiny worlds: Post-processing techniques
      11m 41s
    16. Shooting macro shots on an iPhone
      3m 18s
    17. Using a tripod
      3m 33s
    18. Wildlife and staying present
      5m 58s
    19. Batch exposure adjustments on raw files
      6m 52s
    20. Why Shoot Polaroid
      11m 12s
    21. Seizing an opportunity
      4m 4s
    22. Four photographers do a light-as-subject exercise
      12m 24s
    23. Shooting macro bug photos with a reversed lens
      4m 54s
    24. Varnishing a photo for a painterly effect
      13m 36s
    25. Shooting wildlife
      7m 24s
    26. Discussion on how to shoot architecture
      12m 27s
    27. Using a lens hood
      4m 48s
    28. Working with themes
      2m 48s
    29. Setting up an HDR time lapse
      7m 55s
    30. Processing an HDR time lapse
      7m 55s
    31. Two perspectives on travel photography
      12m 28s
    32. Scanning Photos
      5m 37s
    33. Photo assignment: shooting an egg
      3m 13s
    34. Reviewing the egg shot images
      6m 47s
    35. Shooting in your own backyard
      4m 38s
    36. Jpeg iPad import process
      3m 17s
    37. Shooting a product shot in open shade
      9m 34s
    38. Reviewing the product shot images
      4m 5s
    39. Warming up
      3m 26s
    40. Taking a panning action shot
      10m 17s
    41. Scanning polaroid negatives and processing in Photoshop
      8m 17s
    42. Shooting a silhouette
      3m 9s
    43. Going with an ultra-light gear configuration
      5m 29s
    44. Working with masks and calculations in Photoshop
      12m 38s
    45. Working with flash for macro photography
      4m 56s
    46. Colorizing a black and white photo in Photoshop
      5m 10s
    47. Using duct tape and zip ties in the field
      4m 14s
    48. When the on camera flash is casting a shadow
      3m 4s
    49. Using Lightroom on the road
      6m 28s
    50. Listening to your camera to get good exposure
      2m 20s
    51. Shooting a successful self portrait with a phone
      7m 18s
    52. Switching to Lightroom from another application
      9m 48s
    53. Photographing animals in wildlife refuges
      6m 41s
    54. Shooting level
      2m 42s
    55. Photoshop and Automator
      8m 54s
    56. Shooting when the light is flat
      3m 23s
    57. Discussing the business of stock photography
      9m 48s
    58. Shooting tethered to a monitor
      3m 21s
    59. Making a 360 degree panorama on the iPhone
      4m 45s
    60. Understanding the three flash setup
      3m 34s
    61. Shooting a three flash portrait
      4m 6s
    62. Understanding the differences with third party lenses
      4m 43s
    63. Understanding why files look different on depending on device
      5m 25s
    64. Working with a geotagging app on the iPhone
      4m 43s
    65. Using high speed flash sync to dim ambient light
      7m 29s
    66. Using your iPad as a second monitor
      5m 46s
    67. Understanding exposure with a leaf shutter camera
      3m 28s
    68. Photography practice through mimicry
      8m 8s
    69. Canon wireless flash with built in radio control
      5m 59s
    70. Posing and shooting pairs of people
      5m 35s
    71. Shooting with a shape in mind
      3m 15s
    72. Shooting tethered to a laptop
      4m 40s
    73. Softboxes vs. umbrellas
      2m 55s
    74. Getting your project out into the world
      6m 25s
    75. Exploring how to think about shooting a new environment
      3m 56s
    76. Discussing the book "The Passionate Photographer" with Steve Simon
      6m 4s
    77. Highlighting iOS 8 updates on the iPhone5S
      10m 46s
    78. Exploring manual controls with iOS 8 and ProCamera
      5m 30s
    79. Understanding how to compose with an empty sky
      4m 54s
    80. Using an iPhone to make a print in the darkroom
      7m 16s
    81. How to use glycerin as a photography tool
      2m 16s
    82. Understanding micro focus adjustment and Lens Align
      11m 19s
    83. Working with hair in post
      3m 28s
    84. Taking a quick portrait and directing a subject
      5m 50s
    85. Getting inspired through the work of others
      11m 22s
    86. Taking a flattering portrait with flash
      4m 21s
    87. Creating an unaligned HDR image
      3m 3s
    88. Exploring how to use Bokeh
      5m 38s
    89. Shooting stills from a drone
      6m 57s
    90. Using a monitor to get a first person view of the aerial camera
      8m 0s
    91. Understanding lens profile correction
      5m 33s
    92. Working with models
      2m 40s
    93. Understanding the labels on SD cards
      10m 32s
    94. Setting up a macro time lapse of a flower
      6m 18s
    95. Taking a portrait that's tightly cropped or slightly obscured
      3m 24s
    96. Tips for shooting panoramas
      7m 16s
    97. Carrying a point-and-shoot camera
      4m 44s
    98. Adjusting the color of shadows in an image
      5m 35s
    99. Evaluating camera-strap options
      4m 42s
    100. The 100th Practicing Photographer
      3m 31s
    101. Using light-pollution maps for planning night shoots
      3m 26s
    102. Shooting a series of star shots for a stack
      8m 32s
    103. Stitching together stacks of stars
      8m 59s
    104. Understanding how to clean sensor dust
      10m 27s
    105. Dry sensor cleaning
      6m 23s
    106. Cleaning the sensor with moisture
      7m 32s
    107. Composing in the center
      2m 48s
    108. Working with an electronic shutter control
      2m 50s
    109. Understanding how to use the Wi-Fi feature in some cameras
      2m 56s
    110. Exploring the software equivalent to graduated ND (neutral density) filters
      7m 8s
    111. Don't be predictable in your framing
      10m 21s
    112. Shooting with ND filter and flash to balance subject and background exposure
      2m 42s
    113. Understanding when to go low contrast
      3m 15s

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Watch the Online Video Course The Practicing Photographer
11h 21m Appropriate for all May 16, 2013 Updated Jul 02, 2015

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In The Practicing Photographer, photographer and teacher Ben Long shares a weekly serving of photographic instruction and inspiration. Each installment focuses on a photographic shooting scenario, a piece of gear, or a software technique. Each installment concludes with a call to action designed to inspire you to pick up your camera (or your mouse or smartphone) to try the technique for yourself.

Subject:
Photography
Author:
Ben Long

Using a tripod

I really love a good tripod and I can go on and look there's a giant bug flying around. I can go on at length about really nerdy details about tripods from the advantages of particular kinds of latches, to my preference for some materials and let's not even get started on heads. I currently own three tripods, a really nice monopod and a couple of different heads. So, if I'm such a tripod maniac, how come in most of the courses you see, here on lynda.com, I'm not using a tripod, I'm not even carrying one, I'm going handheld.

Yes, I do love my tripods and I use them for some macro shooting and definitely low-light shooting, product shooting. Anytime where shutter speed needs to go long either because of lighting conditions or depth of field needs, absolutely I want the best tripod I can find. But for most of the shooting I can do I find that I can work handheld, even landscape shooting. Because of a couple of different reasons. First of all, in a modern SLR and even a lot of smaller point and shoot cameras, high ISO response is so good, that I can crank my ISO up without suffering a noise penalty to get those faster shutter speeds that I need for good handheld sharpness.

So between, high ISO capability and stabilized lenses And good technique. I find that I can simply get away without using a tripod for most of the everyday shooting that I do. Carrying a tripod adds more bulk to my kit. It means that if I carry a tripod I might be less inclined to carry an additional lens. I really want as much lens flexibility as I can in most situations, so I tend to leave my tripod at home. Also my shooting style is not so much about going into say a landscape location and trying to pull out just three or four really refined, finicky perfect images.

I want to stay on the move. I want to be seeing as much as I can. I want to be trying as many different things as I can. I will confess that I am not a sharpness maniac, I feel like digital technology and advances in lenses have gotten us all to this point where maximum sharpness is what we're, we're after all the time. And yet, some of the greatest images in the history of photography. Some of the best photographers who've worked over the last 150 years. When you look at their shots, they're not super sharp. But those images still work. Now, if I knew that my output needs demanded a particular level of sharpness.

Then I might be a little more careful about always working with a tripod. And I sometimes print very big, but honestly it's very rare that in normal situations I find that I'm coming back with a compromised image, because I don't have a tripod. Now you can go to tripods that easier to carry. Maybe some that aren't as tall and so on and so forth. So there are ways of splitting the difference. And I will do that sometimes, I will go backpacking with a small tripod because I never know. That's the problem with going with a handheld only situation. Maybe I think eh, I'm not going to need one and then some incredible night time situation shows up and I can't shoot it.

But, in general I find that with careful use of ISO lens, stabilization, good form and camera holding, I can get away without using a tripod. If you want to know more about your own capabilities in this regard and whether you should be lugging a tripod or not, take your tripod out and do some experiments. See if you can get the same shot handheld as you can with your tripod. Try this in a low light Try this in regular daylight. Try it with different depth of field needs, and learn try to assess your own capabilities at hand-held shooting.

because if you find out that you've got a little more stability and a little more capability than you realized, you may not have to carry this thing around.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about The Practicing Photographer .


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