When do use tripods?

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
Platographer Contributing Member • Posts: 730
Re: When do use tripods?

I almost always use a tripod even when not doing long exposures because my goal is to achieve the best possible image quality. A tripod with remote shutter eliminates the chance of camera movement blur (as long as it is not too windy out) and allows more thoughtful framing of the shot. A tripod also makes it easier to exposure and focus bracket shots without having to crop a lot out when aligning in post. I focus and exposure bracket most of my shots (by focus bracket, I mean take exposure bracketed shots at several different focus points since the Sony A7Riv does not have a focus bracketing function). To me, technical excellence is as important as composition because I have aspirations to make big Peter Lik-style prints. But that's not what is important to everyone and that is fine.

When I was in Lake Tahoe, I paid a photographer to guide/instruct me. I like her work, but her photography philosophy was completely different than mine. She hardly ever brackets and shoots mostly handheld at small apertures like f/14 or f/16 to get good DOF (which obviously introduces significant diffraction softening compared to focus stacking f/8 images). She has little concern for the technical side, but makes beautiful images nonetheless. She didn't even know what the circle of confusion is, but she manages to be a good photographer. Her style is not wrong, just different. For her, spending a lot of time and effort to get that extra, say, 20% or so of quality is not worth it. I feel differently. There's no right or wrong answer, just the individual photographer's prerogatives and decisions about how our very limited time on this beautiful blue marble is spent.

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