Landscape Photography Tripod? Is it important?
I have been using tripods since the early 80’s and still use them today, but not for landscape photography. Here are five reasons why:
1) Tripods are heavy!
A good quality tripod can weigh as much as 10 pounds or more. This is too heavy to carry around all day while shooting landscapes. It also makes it difficult to set up your camera on a tripod when you’re in an area that doesn’t have a solid surface to place it on.
2) Tripods take time to setup!
Setting up a tripod takes at least 30 seconds per leg. If you’re trying to shoot fast action scenes, this means you’ll be waiting for your tripod to get set up before you can start taking pictures.
3) Tripods make me nervous!
When I’m out shooting landscapes, I want to feel comfortable with my equipment. Having a heavy piece of metal attached to my camera makes me uneasy because I don’t know how stable it will be.
Rare, but not unique to this list, one of the tripod legs is detachable for use as a monopod.
4) Tripods restrict creativity! The best way to capture great images is by being creative. By restricting yourself to only one type of shot, you limit your ability to create unique images.
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1. Stay Light
I’m a minimalist. I like having the absolute least amount of stuff with me. My camera bag is about 10 pounds, and usually contains one or two lenses and a flash. Sometimes, I’ll bring along a third lens, but most times, I don’t.
When I do carry a second lens, it tends to be a small prime. For example, I might take a 50mm f/1.4, 85mm f/1.5, or even a 28mm f/1.7. But there are times when I want something larger. So, I keep a 35mm f/1.0 prime around.
2. Move Fast
When you’re working outdoors, you don’t always have control over the elements. You might be forced to work during a storm, or even in the middle of winter.
When the conditions aren’t ideal, you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared. Here are three tips to help you capture great images no matter what the circumstances.
3. You Don’t Need Small Apertures
I’m a big fan of shooting landscapes with wide open aperture settings like f/2.8 or even f/1.8. I love how shallow depth of field makes everything look soft and dreamy. But it turns out you don’t really need those kinds of apertures to capture great landscape images. In fact, most of my favorite shots are taken at f/11 or smaller.
Trees — especially in winter — can be messy and chaotic, and they often benefit from a little blur. Having too much sharpness in the background can distract from the subject matter.
4. Not Everything Has to Be at ISO 100
I’ve been shooting sports for over 20 years now, and one thing that hasn’t changed much since the beginning is how important speed is to getting good pictures. As a professional athlete myself, I know that there is no substitute for speed. If you’re not able to move around quickly enough, you’ll miss out on the best moments.
For me, the tradeoff isn’t worth it. I’d rather sacrifice a little bit of sharpness for the ability to take more photographs without having to carry a lot of gear. Landscape Photography Tripod
That’s where IBIS comes into play. By measuring the movements of your body, the IBIS system uses software algorithms to calculate where the blurriness is coming from and correct it. In theory, this allows you to take sharp pictures without having to hold the camera perfectly steady.
The results weren’t perfect, but they were definitely better than we expected. And while I didn’t think I’d ever use IBIS, I now realize that it’s actually very useful.
Even in the daytime, when hand-holding is possible, some landscape photographers still use a tripod!
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