In giving you some photo tips from my e-books over the past two weeks, I had a regular visitor write to me asking about tripods. The question was mostly about which tripod would be best for his circumstances, but the conversation reminded me that I’d better slip in one of my most talked about tips and one that I revisit pretty regularly. Stated simply, if you want the Number One secret to improving your landscape images it is to simply use a tripod. Every pro landscape photographer I know uses one at least 90% of the time. To understand more of the reasons a tripod can help, click on a blog I did a while back explaining why I use one about 90% of the time for landscapes.
In my case I use a big ole Gitzo 3541 with a Really Right Stuff BH-55 ballhead. It’s a monster to carry around, weighing in at 8 pounds, even though the tripod is carbon fiber. Add that to my other gear and I’m packing between 30 and 40 pounds when I hike into a pristine location to photograph. At my age that’s equivalent to maybe 200 pounds, especially on the way back to the car. So, it better be worth the effort. The plain fact is that it is.
On my upcoming trip to Italy and Malta, which I’ll be blogging about starting next week, I did something I never thought I’d do. I bought a lightweight travel tripod. I can’t wait for it to arrive so I can test it out. Naturally, I’ll do a review of it once I put it through it’s paces in Italy. The thing weighs 4 pounds, including ballhead, so I’m not getting my hopes up just yet. Still, by my calculation, the tripod will be beneficial when I need to use slow shutter speeds.
For more information about shooting prize-winning landscapes, check out my The Photographer’s Eye e-book. They are only $4.99 and include 10 images, each of which illustrate a point, as well as ten tips for improving your landscape photography. If your preference is wildlife or people, I have ebooks on those topics, too. Enjoy!