Daily Archives: January 14, 2011

I’m Starting to Love My Tripod…

Do you like your tripod? I’m starting to really like mine despite how cumbersome it feels. (Hey, I’m 5’11” and I don’t have to slouch to look through my camera when my tripod is fully extend, so it’s heavy!) In my latest photography course, Night and Low Light Photography, having a tripod is pretty much essential to ensure that you have crisp photos despite the longer exposure times. Unless, of course, you’re hand holding it for artistic effect, but that’s a different ballpark.

Last night, we were set loose on the SAIT Campus to take photos of various things, both inside and outside. I stayed inside for most of time as it was -22C (-8F) outside without windchill. I did brave the cold for about 20 minutes at the end – I was determined to as I felt like I had brought half my closet to keep me warm – and got some really neat photos (in my opinion.)

Our instructor wanted us to talk pictures with the following themes:

  • Architecture
  • Shadows
  • Person/Object illuminated by artificial light
  • Mood
  • Motion
  • What is it?
  • Multiple sources of artificial light

We also had a “2 second rule” in effect: all of our shots had to have exposures of two seconds or longer. Initially this seemed like a long time, but in reality 2 seconds is really short when you compare it to a 30 second exposure!

One good thing about using your tripod in lower light situations is that you can use a very low ISO, which means less noise than in pictures taken with shorter exposures and higher ISOs. But then, which settings you choose depends on what you’re doing and what creative effects you’re going for.

Our instructor did give us a tip on taking photos of city skylines: use ISO 100, 30 second exposure with an aperture of f/16.

I ended up using an aperture of f/22 for this shot as there was a strong light just to the right of me and I happen to like moodier, darker skyline photos.

I love being able to play with light through exposure and angle. I find it to be more fun in lower light situations that when it’s super bright outside as you can really get that contrast and texture.

Another good thing about my tripod is that I could put my camera in places that I wouldn’t be able to hold myself.

Don’t worry, my camera strap was safely around my neck for both of these shots!

Perspective can also be incredibly fun.

Here’s my Tron pose. All I’m missing is the weird glowy suit and disk thing!

The SAIT campus is much prettier than the University of Calgary’s. Much better for taking photos!

Thanks for looking through my photos!

Now the hard part: picking 4 – 6 of these photos to take to class next week. Which photo is your favourite?

*I have submitted the photo of the stairs for Foto Friday at Household 6 Diva.

Household6Diva FotoFriday


Filed under Photography