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Saturday, 02 June 2007


I was the same way for the longest time. I hated to get a tripod out and like you, I am the proud owner of a 7D, so I never thought I needed one. I shot as slow as a half second at times and got some very usable stuff. Then I found macro photography... It forced me to move to a tripod because while I could hold the camera "still" for the length of the shutter release, I could not completely stop the natural sway I have when standing still which threw off my oh so carefully composed shallow depth of field. Now I use a tripod more than ever for all sorts of shots. Just remember to turn AS off on the camera when you mount it to the tripod.

I am mainly a nature (bird) photographer. I love to take pictures of birds in flight and a tripod is a darn nuisance when you are tracking a bird (yeah, yeah, Wimberley sidekick, ball head, yadda yadda). So I was a kind of anti-tripodite also. But then I started printing my pictures on an Epson 3800. And now I use my tripod a *lot* more than I used to. I still undo it a lot and shoot handheld (with whatever bracing is possible) but I use the tripod and try to tell myself to use it.

But I don't panic if I don't have it. I had my 30D plus general purpose lens and happened upon an amazing night scene that I just had to capture. It absolutely called for a tripod, which I didn't have (going to the opera). I just dialed it up to ISO 1600 and put the camera up against a pole and shot and shot and shot (~1.5 second exposure). Got *several* usable shots and have printed this image very large.

Don't be a slave to the "right tool for the job" syndrome. Use what you can, when you can. But at least *try* to take the picture.

P.S. I use a (Canon) 300mm F/4L + 1.4x extender. I never turn off the IS, even when on the tripod. I don't know why, but it just works (and have lots o' pics to prove it).

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