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

24 responses to “I’m Starting to Love My Tripod…

  1. These are all incredible – you have an amazing eye – great compositions and superb low light captures! Thanks for all the info on using a tripod. I have yet to venture into lugging mine around outside of family shots (yawn) but really really want to. I just need to kick in gear and try, lol, and getting some low light shots might be great motivation. Thanks!
    #s: 2 (stairs), 7 (cityline), 8(brick wall), 11(looking down at round tables) would be my top 4 faves!

  2. WOW, great post. I hope you keep posting your class assignments. Which four-six to pick, that’s up to you. You did a great job, they all look good! -Kim

  3. Those are some amazing shots- I especially love the 2nd one. So interesting!

  4. Wow! Wonderful pictures! I need to pull my tripod out. I only seem to use it when we’re doing a family photo and I need to be in the picture (so like once a year.).

  5. Natalie

    The 2nd and 3rd shots and the city/skyline meeting are my favorites! But they’re all marvelous!

  6. WOW! I can’t even pick my fav! Love the stairs, and the night shots, and just the overall neat perspective you have!!!

  7. Hi! Nice to meet you through Foto Friday. Very fun photos! I like the one looking down at the table/chairs and the one looking up at the windows: they seem very clear to me, and I just like the perspectives. 🙂

  8. your post was quite the lesson for me. Thanks for stopping by.

  9. Awesome photos!! I hate busting out my tripod, but I also hate the blurry pics when I take photos in my dark house! You are encouraging me to start using it more!


  10. They are all fabulous, I don’t know if I could pick! Well done!

  11. I DEFINITELY like the first one as I felt quite cold just looking at it. I also like the one looking STRAIGHT down, because my goodness, my belly flipped. Lots of folks take photos and if I feel something more than “oh that’s cute” it’s a winner!

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  13. Those pictures really are wonderful. I have been thinking about a tripod, but haven’t taken the leap yet. I can just see my husband’s eyes rolling now. lol.

  14. THAT’S MY SCHOOL!!!!

    I like -11 of the chair or railing? I guess that would be a good “What is it?” photo. The night skyline is beautiful too.

    Too bad the labs were probably closed, there’s some interesting stuff in the Energy dept.

  15. how i love your photos! =D
    they are all so great! I pick 4th and 9th =D

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  17. Kim

    These are all great! I’ve just been starting to get more into photography, and am completely obsessed with Instagram, a photo-sharing application on the iPhone. My personal favorite of your photos is the one with the row of trees and snowy street. It’s incredibly well-lit, which I’ve heard is half the battle. Keep it up!

  18. I just came upon your site from Household 6 Diva – one of your photos was a standout this week…and I’m a bit inspired this morning and I’ve been lacking a lot of creativity this week (at least I think I have). I’m going to subscribe now…I’m excited to see more. Have a great weekend!

  19. Really beautiful photographs. I like the angle you chose for the abstract shots!

  20. Thanks for the comment! Wanted to stop by and visit you as well and WOW, so glad I did!!! These photos ROCK!!!

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