Technology is great isn’t it?
30+ years ago we used our photo experience and intelligence to capture on film. Unless we had a darkroom that was it. It forced us to “think” about each and every shot. Literally considering all aspects of the shot. Scenics, slow moving objects and optimum lighting made it a little easier. When panning or trying to follow focus a subject great discipline and experience was required. As well as good planning. In the end 1 in 100 shots may turn out exceptional. More likely acceptable.
Last night while waiting for a Harrier Hawk to make it’s move I received a call from a stranger. A fellow photography enthusiast refereed to me for advise. I was honored. The first question she asked was do I use a tripod. It seemed a little odd as the most important question. Then she mentioned that she was considering buying the Nikon D800. She was told that it required more strict compliance to the use of a tripod because of it’s high resolution. My immediate response was any camera will have a sharper image if shot from a tripod. It reminded me and I mentioned to her there are famous professional photographers out there that “brag” about their handholding prowess. Even lenses like the Nikon 200-400mm zoom lens.
The likes of Moose Peterson can in fact do it. Writes about it often. HE IS THE EXCEPTION! What and how he shoots almost demands his expertise at handholding. Don’t be fooled we are not Moose Peterson! The vast majority of us need the tripod. I ALWAYS travel with at least two tripods. One tripod is set up just for my Nikon 600mm lens. Definitely not a hand holder!
DPS – Digital Photography School has a pretty good article about reducing camera shake. Find it here.
When shoooting from my car I am even extreme I use a bean bag designed to hold a gimbal head. I use this with my 200-400 and my 600.
Eventually last night with the sun in good form the Harrier Hawk took off. I was ready. Two photographs later I was done. In this age of technology I still need to remember to use ALL the tools I have. I have been shooting manually for a while. I would focus by hand and look through the viewfinder and using the “Focus Indicator” to know if I was in focus. That was then with bad eyes. If you look at last nights post I had the great opportunity to photograph a beautiful pheasant not far from where I was shooting the hawk. I remembered to set my camera to autofocus with the pheasant. I think it’s obvious!