Thursday, 7 July 2016

Photography Woes – Why, oh why didn't I use a Tripod?

I really enjoy photography and I have wisely invested in a Travel tripod that does a very good job – it’s a Velbon Ultrek UT-53D & QHD-53D Ball Bead. In fact I realise how important tripods are as I currently own 3. One is rubbish I brought here in Russia – it’s a cheaper supermarket job a DXRP – plastic jobby, that wobbles like jelly on a plate – it cost me 18 quid. Yeah I know but my other tripod was in England so I needed a quick replacement. The one in England is a Redsnapper, great solid legs – but the head broke!

Rust Abstract Fineart Wallprint to buy
Here is the Photograph "Old Mother Rust" I took without a tripod!

My main one now as I mentioned is Velbron – it’s a good tripod and easy to travel with, which I often do – but I have one problem – I am very very lazy. I often shoot without using it, which isn't a massive problem until I realise that I lost the shot because my Depth-of-Field didn't do what I wanted it to do. The example in question will illustrate why you SHOULD ALWAYS USE a tripod.

Photography Tips - The Not Using a Tripod Scenario

Near a village not too far from where I live is a really knackered broken down combine harvester that has so much rust, cogs, drive-belts, details etc. It’s a great site. Anyway I love photographing Rust. I had my tripod with me but didn't want to use it. As I was clambering over the combine harvester I came across great rust surface, beautiful colours with flaking peeling paint and rust particles that made my mouth water.

So I started shooting with my Nikon D750, with a Tamron 90mm F2.8 – bumped up the ISO to 320 to give me a shutter speed of 1/200. – This will work I thought – my aperture was at F8.

A quick look at the back on the LCD screen told me exposure was OK, and composition. Great time to head home for a cup of tea and a biscuit.

Post-Processing - Oh My God Nooo!

When I got home and started to process the images I was amazed and beaten by the fact that I had camera blur, the images were useless, and the rust was not tack-sharp. My shutter speed didn't work I had blur, the aperture (I set to give me what I thought was a suitable shutter speed was too shallow!).

If ONLY I hadn't been lazy toad and got my tripod set up, I could have got a bigger DOF, and shot the plane of the rust to give me usable images.

I used a quick Depth-of-Field calculator ( and at the Aperture I was using and I noticed that I only had a DOF of 0.39 of an inch - way too shallow! Especially considering I was shooting the rust on a non-level plane (shooting up at it)

Photography Lesson I Learnt The Hard Way That Day

Always use a tripod, don’t be lazy like me – now I have to go back and be a proper photographer and do what needs to be done – re-shoot correctly! I really have no excuses…

I have called this piece of Fine Art – Old Mother Rust

See if you can spot the errors

The Art can be directly purchased from my Fine Art Photograph Gallery here…..

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