Advances in image stabilization systems make shooting hand-held easier than ever
In 2023, I went on several trips where travel photography was the predominant style. That meant focusing on outdoor/street scenes, and indoor/ architectural scenes. These subjects are particularly prevalent in Europe, where I took a group of clients to visit Christmas Markets in Austria and Germany, along with a stop in Prague.
As always, I recommended for my clients to bring a lightweight travel tripod, because a primary goal for us was to shoot during the twilight/”blue hour.” Having a tripod in those situations can be really handy, because it allows you to shoot slower shutter speeds and keep your ISO down, which often leads to cleaner images (less noise, and more dynamic range).
I was excited to be using my new OM System OM-1 kit, with a couple of zooms (12-45mm f/4, 40-150 f/4) and two small primes (9mm f/1.7 and 25mm f/1.8). My entire kit only weighed 3.5 lbs.; less than my Nikon Z9 and 24-120mm f/4 combo, which I lugged around Croatia in 2022.
Along with my camera, I packed my trusty Gitzo traveler tripod and a small ball-head, and flew off to meet my clients in Prague, excited to capture photos of these magical cities at Christmastime. That’s when reality set in.
Tripods, our three-legged friends… we sometimes have a love-hate relationship with them because we hate to carry them around in the field. Nevertheless, the current range of tripods offer incredible stability and great value. Carbon-fiber tripods are no longer reserved for the wealthy enthusiast; you can get some very good ones for under $500.
This week, we’ll share our experience in choosing tripods and talk about the features you should look for when choosing one. And hey, who needs just one?
This week, we’re talking about camera support and stabilization accessories that go beyond the traditional tripod. Whether it’s a tabletop tripod, beanbag, or a DIY strap, we discuss how you can get creative with stabilizing your camera in the field, and which of these accessories we use the most. We’ve also started a segment on Lightroom tips; this week we’ll tell you about how to set Levels using the Lr Classic Curves Tool.
The one photo accessory you can’t afford to leave at home
With summer travel season quickly approaching, it’s time to think about our photo adventures. Whether you’re in a group or traveling alone, there’s one photo accessory that you simply cannot afford to leave at home, and you already know about it. Continue reading Travel Photography Secrets→
A good tripod is one of the most critical photographic accessories. A solid tripod enables you to shoot long exposures, use lower ISOs, and get sharp images. However, I think the first time any of us went tripod shopping, we had a bit of sticker shock. Good tripods, like my recommended Gitzo Series 3 Systematic, can cost nearly $1000. For most of us, that’s just a ton of money to spend on a tripod, even if it will last for years.
Fortunately, there are some good tripods out there for under $500. Many of these are aluminum models, but you can also find some carbon fiber ones at this price point. I had the opportunity to try out three tripods courtesy of B&H Photo, and all of these would be excellent options for outdoor photographers. Continue reading Tripods for under $500→