Assignment #5 : Always Use A Tripod…


Beyond the certainty to get a sharp and crisp image, using a tripod is an efficient creativity catalyst. I explain : When composing an image, you’ll have to isolate a part of the scenery and force it to inhabit your viewfinder. Remodeling the world is not an easy task ! I’m sure you have already experiment this exercise, and I’m ready to bet, as I do, you stop breathing for a while… time to find the right angle, the right height, the right diagonal and so on… When one of these elements fits right, then it’s another one which  goes wrong… Then you dump your lungs full of bad air and re-insufflate fresh one, lock your inspiration and deep again trying to adjust all the elements in the frame… The problem is, in between, you have moved, the position can be very uncomfortable, unsteady and toilsome… When you think you’ve got it, you press the shutter release in a hurry to be sure you captured the right precise composition… But have you read carefully your viewfinder with serenity ? Certainly not !!

Using a tripod reassure the whole process ! Make your composition, adjust each dimension precisely using the multi-axis handles you have on your tripod head. Evaluate each micro movement you apply. Breathe !… Take a step backward… Breathe again… Get immersed in your recomposed scene… Question yourself on what’s the matter, The reason why, the need for each and every element you’ve included in the composition… Make two, three four steps, leaving all the hardware in place… refresh your mind, shout away with loud music in your ears, let’s your emotion invade your head and your heart, forget everything else but the image you’re making… Be by yourself, ignore the others.. ( that’s why you should be alone when making photographs… ) feel free to chide loudly if you don’t find THE image you want, or to bellow with no restraint if you’ve got it.. That’s Photography inebriation !… That is our pleasure, the one we, and we only, the Photographers…  know…

Last but not least, using a tripod is a technical warranty ! Press the shutter release then check your image ! Sure, the camera monitor is not a faithful proof of what you’ve done.. it’s an interpreted jpeg amputated of a huge quantity of data.. but say, you’ve got an idea ! The key element is the histogram ! Is it OK ? did I clipped ? What about highlights ? Where are my shadows ? Is the range covered ? do I have to HDR ? Yes ? No problem ! My framing stays unchanged, let’s do it again !… And what if trying a long exposure for a blurring effect on waves ? Just adjust a neutral density on the lens and trigger it again ! Not long enough ? Ok try it with one more stop … As you see, using a tripod is a multi win practice… Think of it !

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