Creating Artistic Landscape Photographs
Tripods Part 2

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    Topic: Creating Artistic Landscape Photographs
Tripods Part 2 Read 1247 Times
  • Mike Nelson Pedde
    Mike Nelson Pedde
    Participant
    Posts: 641
    New Article Announcements & Discussions
    on: November 6, 2020 at 8:00 pm

    Alain’s  latest article states that tripods are no longer necessary. Were that to become adage, it would be like saying that the minimum acceptable shutter speed is 1/focal-length. In his book, ‘The Camera’, Ansel Adams found in his test that using a 35mm camera and a 50mm lens, when making photographs of leafless trees he could see a difference between 1/125th second and 1/250th second. His ‘rule’ then was 5 times focal length. For him. As someone who has both a fine motor tremor and a 42MP camera, the rules are different. My cell phone has a tiny, 16MP sensor and about a 28mm-equivalent focal length lens. With that camera I can make decent images handheld. With my a7RIII, and especially with longer focal lengths I do sometimes shoot handheld, but at 100% I can see a difference between handheld and tripod-mounted, especially if I’m shooting in a forest or in lower evening light. Yes, the a7RIII is capable of atmospheric ISO boosts, but personally I don’t like to go over 4000 or so. Again, I can see a difference, even with noise reduction.

    Shooting from a tripod is also philosophically different for me. If I’m walking through the woods with Marcia, photography is not my primary intent. I’ll stop, make an image or two, and move on. With a tripod, I’m there to make images. It’s not the 30-minute cycle of making image required by an 8×10 camera, but it’s definitely slower, more deliberate. One of my favourite cameras is an old Yashica TLR, for just that reason. With a 6x6cm frame, single lens and 12 exposures/roll, every click of the shutter becomes conscious.

    Are tripods necessary? For me, sometimes they are. YMMV!

    Mike.

    P.S. An amateur is someone who loves what s/he is doing, an expert is someone who knows what s/he is doing and a professional is someone who gets paid for what s/he is doing. All of the best professionals are amateurs, and (hopefully) experts.

    _____
    Mike Nelson Pedde
    Victoria, BC
    https://www.wolfnowl.com/

    Kevin Raber
    Kevin Raber
    Silver Member
    Posts: 1037
    Re: Creating Artistic Landscape Photographs
Tripods Part 2
    Reply #1 on: November 6, 2020 at 9:42 pm

    I own a ton of tripods.  Most of my photography career was shooting with medium format and a tripod was needed.  I think Alain does a good job opening readers to the possibility of shooting without a tripod.  I love a tripod and an Arca Cube head for what I call contemplative photography.  But, I have come to enjoy the freedom of shooting without a tripod more in recent years.  With the advent of better sensors, IBIS allow higher ISO performance and more handheld opportunities.  I have photographed with the Fuji GFX 100 at 1/8th of a sec handheld and made a perfectly sharp image.  I’ll look around for that file and see if I can add that to this thread soon.

    Go handheld, tripod free every now and then and you may find it to be fun and rewarding.

    Kevin Raber
    CEO & Publisher of PhotoPXL.com and Rockhopperworkshops.com

    Eric Brody
    Eric Brody
    Participant
    Posts: 35
    Re: Creating Artistic Landscape Photographs
Tripods Part 2
    Reply #2 on: November 7, 2020 at 3:05 pm

    It was someone way smarter than me who said, “The sharpest lens is a tripod.” I agree with Mike; technically there is no question that tripods work, eg they make sharper images, and that the use of a tripod encourages more contemplative landscape photography. There is no question that new cameras with IBIS and lenses with stabilization are effective, but that ignores the second point, contemplation. Your friendly curmudgeon speaking. 🙂

     

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 10 months ago by Eric Brody.
    Mike Nelson Pedde
    Mike Nelson Pedde
    Participant
    Posts: 641
    Re: Creating Artistic Landscape Photographs
Tripods Part 2
    Reply #3 on: November 7, 2020 at 6:29 pm

    Isn’t it great to live in a world where everyone gets to have an opinion? 🙂

    _____
    Mike Nelson Pedde
    Victoria, BC
    https://www.wolfnowl.com/

    Wayne Peterson
    Wayne Peterson
    Participant
    Posts: 4
    Re: Creating Artistic Landscape Photographs
Tripods Part 2
    Reply #4 on: November 8, 2020 at 12:58 pm

    Unable to post without odd formatting.  System required a non-empty post.  My apologies.

    Terry Gipson
    Terry Gipson
    Silver Member
    Posts: 33
    Re: Creating Artistic Landscape Photographs
Tripods Part 2
    Reply #5 on: November 8, 2020 at 4:55 pm

    I agree that the tripod is just another tool. It is all about where you want to show your work…in print or on the web…how big or how small. The web is much easier as the fine details are much less appreciated and forgiven.

    In a large print it comes down to what quality you want to share. A large print requires greater resolution. So the question is, “what resolution do you wish to capture?”

    Even the less focused image can have its place if you can convince others of your intent. It is all about the intent of the artist that makes an image or print worthwhile.

    Another great article! Thank you for your time and efforts!

    Terry Colorado USA terry@terrygipsonphotography.com www.terrygipsonphotography.com

    Michael Spear
    Michael Spear
    Participant
    Posts: 13
    Re: Creating Artistic Landscape Photographs
Tripods Part 2
    Reply #6 on: November 10, 2020 at 6:36 pm

    Sorry Guys, I just don’t see it.

    If you are in a tripod free zone, you don’t have much choice. If your purpose is to have a less sharp image, then that is also a different story and that is up to each artist to find his vision. There are some very famous photographers whom did not use a tripod, but their subjects were people. Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank, and many others. The documentary style of those photographers totally lent itself to catching the moment, and not having time to set up a tripod. Their style was more f/8 and be there, but not noted for total sharpness. I personally feel the tripod will have a long life for many styles of photography.

    I am older and can’t imagine walking a 1/4 mile incline of 400-800 feet then pull the camera out the bag try to shoot a fleeting scene hand held. I would much rather do it with a tripod over my shoulder with the camera attached and more or less ready to go. A tripod lets me shoot with a native ISO, and gives me more options for scene renderings.

    I am not trying to insult anyone especially Alain as he has been a go to guy for me not only for his photography, but his savvy marketing skills. But if I had taken the “Somewhere in Escalante” on my tripod the movement of the leaves would make me think twice about  post processing it. In the end it is usually the consumer that decides when new ground is broken if it is fertile or will lay fallow.

    Respectfully

    Michael Spear

    Jeff Schewe
    Jeff Schewe
    Gold Member
    Posts: 103
    Re: Creating Artistic Landscape Photographs
Tripods Part 2
    Reply #7 on: November 11, 2020 at 8:29 pm

    What I think Alain is trying to get across to people is not rely upon what is often called “conventional wisdom” and learn to distinguish what is and isn’t useful wisdom…

    Look, if you want to shoot in Antelope Canyon (after they reopen hopefully next year) you better anticipate not dragging your tripod along because they are no longer allowed–even on the photographer’s tour. So, whatcha gonna do? Not shoot? Hell no…

    It’s actually a lot easier to remove sensor noise than camera shake (although Adobe showed some interesting shake reduction recently) so common sense says raise your ISO. Current sensors can work very well even with ISO’s set to +12K. Yes, you’ll need to do some noise reduction…so what? One of the best noise reduction schemes is simply downsampling–which you’ll have to do anyway to post on social media.

    They key is to actually learn how to shoot without a tripod–which is what Alain is advocating. There are tricks and techniques that can help. Ever see somebody shoot with their camera upside down? You can still look through the viewfinder but instead of holding the camera in your hands, try pressing it into your forehead to increase stability. My good friend Seth Resnick has a trick he taught me while in Antarctica with him hand holding his 300mm F2.8 lens at 1/30th of a second and slower…set your camera to continuous, prolly slow although it can work with high speed as well. Instead of trying to take a single shot, do a 2 or 3 frame burst. The 1st frame will likely have camera movement but the 2nd and 3rd frame will be sharper. Simple really…the act of pressing the shutter causes movement but holding the shutter down doesn’t. Thus the 2 or 3rd frame is almost always sharper…

    Simple learning how to concentrate and breath can help you shoot sharper with slower shutter speeds…like a sniper slowing their heartbeat exhale then shoot.

    The other alternative in the event you don’t want to completely go tripod free is to use alternative tripods…Here’s an article about that here 

    I actually like monopods since they work both as a walking stick as well as a camera platform…

    Heck, sometimes all ya have to do is lay the camera on a table and use the self timer to do a long exposure shot…

    And remember, sometimes camera shake can actually help a shot like when panning a moving animal! Sometimes blur is sexy!

    Alain Briot
    Alain Briot
    Silver Member
    Posts: 21
    Re: Creating Artistic Landscape Photographs
Tripods Part 2
    Reply #8 on: November 27, 2020 at 6:31 pm

    I enjoyed reading the responses to my essay.  The most relevant are those by Jeff, Kevin and Terry because they understand I am trying to get photographers to try something different, something they will have to do eventually if they want to photograph specific locations, such as Antelope Canyon, as Jeff pointed out.

    In my upcoming essays I further challenge past assumptions about landscape photography.  Digital photography has opened a world of possibilities that film photography denied me and to use these possibilities it is important that I approach this new medium with an open mind.

    Michael mentioned my approach to marketing.  Here too approaching it with an open mind is important.  Fine art photography has long been an endeavor that generated a low income. It no longer is but for this to become a personal reality a mental change had to happen in me otherwise I would have been trapped into a ‘poor artist,’ ‘buy art because I am starving’ image.

    Things change, in photography and in many other domains.  Personally I am all in.  However I respect the fact that other photographers have a different take on it. I have no problem with it. Creating art is a personal endeavor and I respect the fact that no two photographers are alike.

    Author of Mastering Landscape Photography and 3 other books.
    http://www.beautiful-landscape.com
    alain@beautiful-landscape.com

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 10 months ago by Alain Briot.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 10 months ago by Alain Briot.
    Alain Briot
    Alain Briot
    Silver Member
    Posts: 21
    Re: Creating Artistic Landscape Photographs
Tripods Part 2
    Reply #9 on: November 27, 2020 at 6:49 pm

    <p style=”margin: 0px; font-stretch: normal; line-height: normal; font-family: Georgia;”><span style=”font-kerning: none;”>I enjoyed reading the responses to my essay.  The most relevant are those by Jeff, Kevin and Terry because they understand I am trying to get photographers to try something different, something they will have to do eventually if they want to photograph specific locations, such as Antelope Canyon, as Jeff pointed out.</span></p>
    <p style=”margin: 0px; font-stretch: normal; line-height: normal; font-family: Georgia; min-height: 19px;”></p>
    <p style=”margin: 0px; font-stretch: normal; line-height: normal; font-family: Georgia;”><span style=”font-kerning: none;”>In my upcoming essays I further challenge past assumptions about landscape photography.  Digital photography has opened a world of possibilities that film photography denied me and to use these possibilities it is important that I approach this new medium with an open mind.</span></p>
    <p style=”margin: 0px; font-stretch: normal; line-height: normal; font-family: Georgia; min-height: 19px;”></p>
    <p style=”margin: 0px; font-stretch: normal; line-height: normal; font-family: Georgia;”><span style=”font-kerning: none;”>Michael mentioned my approach to marketing.  Here too approaching it with an open mind is important.  Fine art photography has long been an endeavor that generated a low income. It no longer is but for this to become a personal reality a mental change had to happen in me otherwise I would have been trapped into a ‘poor artist,’ ‘buy art because I am starving’ image.</span></p>
    <p style=”margin: 0px; font-stretch: normal; line-height: normal; font-family: Georgia; min-height: 19px;”></p>
    <p style=”margin: 0px; font-stretch: normal; line-height: normal; font-family: Georgia;”><span style=”font-kerning: none;”>Things change, in photography and in many other domains.  Personally I am all in.  However I respect the fact that other photographers have a different take on it. I have no problem with it. Creating art is a personal endeavor and I respect the fact that no two photographers are alike.</span></p>

    Author of Mastering Landscape Photography and 3 other books.
    http://www.beautiful-landscape.com
    alain@beautiful-landscape.com

    Rand Scott Adams
    Rand Scott Adams
    Silver Member
    Posts: 247
    Re: Creating Artistic Landscape Photographs
Tripods Part 2
    Reply #10 on: December 6, 2020 at 10:24 am

    The whole conversation is strange, to my way of thinking.  It is like asking if it is better to use screw driver or a chain saw?

    Rand

    Rand Scott Adams Rand47

    Jeff Schewe
    Jeff Schewe
    Gold Member
    Posts: 103
    Re: Creating Artistic Landscape Photographs
Tripods Part 2
    Reply #11 on: December 7, 2020 at 6:13 pm

    The whole conversation is strange, to my way of thinking.  It is like asking if it is better to use screw driver or a chain saw?

    Rand

    Better to use a chain saw…it’s a lot more fun and dangerous!

    But it does mean having to carry the damn thing around…easier to just carry a screwdriver :~)

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