New Nikon teaser hints at ‘Noct-Nikkor’ lens for mirrorless

Nikon's series of video teasers continues with a look at some classic Nikkor glass and an unmarked lens at the end of the video. Astute readers may notice that the first lens shown is a Noct-Nikkor 58mm F1.2 - one of Nikon's most famous manual focus lenses, made in limited numbers for about 20 years from the 1970s before being discontinued in the late 90s.

Beloved by fans of low-light photography (and, inevitably, collectors), the rare Noct-Nikkor is hard to find, and good copies sell for very high prices on the used market (see earlier point about collectors). Nikon has already hinted that its new mirrorless lens mount is something special - could it support high-performance F1.2 or even faster lenses? We'll find out on August 23rd.

Kodak begins shipping Ektachrome film to select photographers for testing

Kodak via Instagram

During CES 2017, Kodak announced plans to resurrect its Ektachrome film, which was discontinued in 2012. Though the first batch of film isn't available to purchase yet, Kodak released sample images shot on the new Ektachrome in June, and now it has started shipping test film to select photographers.

Images and videos of the new Ektachrome film have surfaced on Kodak's Instagram page, where it points toward its beta film test team. One video by @benjhaisch shows a brick of packaged film boxes being removed from its shipping box; another (embedded below) by beta tester @michaelturek shows the same package with eight boxes of new film.

Thank you @michaelturek

A post shared by Kodak Professional (@kodakprofessional) on

Glimpses of the product are similarly present on the Kodak Professional Facebook page, where the company shared a shot of one of the Ektachrome film boxes unwrapped, as well as an unboxing video. In June, Popular Science editor Stan Horaczek was given a look inside the Kodak factory where Ektachrome is produced.

Kodak originally planned to release its new Ektachrome film for purchase by the end of 2017, but the timeline has since been updated to the end of 2018.

Via: Koso Foto

11 Ideas for More Unique Concert Photos

Musicians, magazines, fans, and record labels alike turn to skilled photographers to tell a story of a momentous performance and return unique concert photos.

Concert photographers are often on assignment for a publication that has sent them out to capture meaningful pictures that could very well go down in music history. Otherwise, music photographers are individually hired by the performing artists. Whatever brings you to the photo pit, your goal is to capture something wonderful.

That being said, the music photography industry has become surprisingly saturated in recent years. In order to stand out amongst the crowd, you have to take live music photographs that differ from others in your photo pit. Here are 11 tips on how to take more unique concert photographs.

#1 – Don’t Forget About the Detail Shots

still life concert image - 11 Ideas for More Unique Concert Photos

Band: Behemoth

Although you want to focus heavily on the musicians performing on the stage, the detail shots are just as important.

Many bands put in a significant amount of effort into their live show productions, from stage props to lighting schemes. A unique and effective statement to your live concert gallery are some close-ups of the epic stage props that the band uses.

At the very least, the artist who created the props or the instrument company will thank you!

#2 – Play with Art and Distortion Lenses

blue and pink concert lighting - 11 Ideas for More Unique Concert Photos

Band: MGT. Shot with the Lensbaby Burnside 35.

Though concert photography is often an assignment from a journalistic outlet, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a couple of minutes to yourself to do something vastly different. You do not have to be afraid of using artistic or distortion lenses at a live show. If anything, they make the frame exceptionally cool!

The fish-eye lens became very famous by well-known concert photographers by being used at live shows. I, myself, love using the Lensbaby lenses at live concerts. The manual focus can oftentimes be much more effective than relying on autofocus.

Try using a copper tube to create very cool swirls around your subject.

art lenses - 11 Ideas for More Unique Concert Photos

Band: A Mirror Hollow. Shot with the Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 L IS USM lens.

You can submit the standard shots to the outlet, and the unique ones to the band. I am telling you, the musicians will love a new take on their live performances.

#3 – Tons of Flying Hair is Great

hair whipping - 11 Ideas for More Unique Concert Photos

Band: Cradle of Filth

Naturally, try to capture the facial expressions of the performers. However, you are dealing with rockstars here, and part of the cool factor of these rock gods is their wild style.

Take advantage of the flying hair and fun headbanging, they can sometimes make cooler shots than your standard singing portraits.

#4 – Perspective is Everything

band between legs - 11 Ideas for More Unique Concert Photos

Band: HIM

Although concert photography can be very limited, between shooting time restrictions and limitations on your shooting location, you can still play with perspective.

The key to being different is viewing life through a lens that is more diverse than those around you, no pun intended. Get low, low, low to the ground and shoot up or move yourself to the very far side of the photo pit and shoot from there! Photograph in between the heads of fans or get up on the balcony.

Whatever you do, find new angles, views, and compositions to take advantage of to create more unique concert photos.

#5 – The Musician Doesn’t  Always Have to Look at You

musician on stage - 11 Ideas for More Unique Concert Photos

Band: Nightwish

It is true that the viewer connects best when the subject is looking at or engaging with the camera.

However, you don’t always have to fight for that type of shot during a live concert setting. It’s okay for the musicians not to interact with you as a photographer. Shots of them looking away or down can be just as eye-catching.

#6 – Embrace the Light, Don’t Avoid it

stage lighting - 11 Ideas for More Unique Concert Photos

Band: IAMX

Having a good grip on lighting will aid you in your concert photography journey. Stage lighting can differ tremendously between shows, venues, and even what lighting is available for that evening. The lighting can range from bright white strobes to deep reds.

Understanding how lighting is photographed by your camera, how it reflects on the instruments and equipment, and how the bulbs affect the performer’s skin tones will change how you take the photograph.

Most incredibly safe and tame images come from the photographer being wary of taking advantage of the lighting situation at concerts. Don’t be afraid to jump right in there and take advantage of whatever bizarre lighting scheme the performers have cooked up for you.

At the end of the day, the lighting is a part of the concert experience, and your job is to capture that.

#7 – Lens Flares are Rad

lens flare musician performing - 11 Ideas for More Unique Concert Photos

Band: Epica

On the topic of lighting, lens flares can be very cool!

This is, of course, an aesthetic choice, but I personally find them to be quite fun. You can cause a flare in a similar fashion to photographing during sunset or golden hour. When the light hits the front glass element of your lens at a specific angle, a flare will appear.

#8 – Overexposing and Underexposing Can Work

moody concert lighting - 11 Ideas for More Unique Concert Photos

Band: The Misfits

To help accurately capture the emotion and feel of the show, it is alright to overexpose or underexpose your frame. This can also create a rather unique and uncommon type of photograph.

Use your best judgment and common sense here to determine when such exposures are appropriate.

#9 – Don’t Be Afraid to Get Close

close up of a band member on stage - 11 Ideas for More Unique Concert Photos

Band: Jyrki69

Guitarists don’t bite (not hard anyway)! Don’t be afraid to get close to the performers on the stage. Take a wide-angle lens, such as a 16-35mm lens, and get right up in there. The perspective distortion can make for a very cool shot.

However, that being said, be aware of your surroundings. I cannot reiterate this point enough. Absolutely be aware of your surroundings!

It is easy to get lost in the moment and fall into a creative bliss when shooting, but a live music event is not the place to lose yourself.

If you’re not growing eyes in the back of your head, you’ll most likely get clonked right in the temple by a crowd surfer, tangled in a microphone cord, or smacked by a flying guitar. This will help you avoid injury to yourself and others.

#10 – In-Between Moments Tell a Story

singer between songs - 11 Ideas for More Unique Concert Photos

Band: HIM

The band may have put their instruments down for a moment, but that doesn’t mean that the job of the photographer ends there.

Some in-between moments can become incredible iconic images through their powerful storytelling ability.

#11 – The Moment is More Important than Technical Accuracy

red concert lighting - 11 Ideas for More Unique Concert Photos

Band: IAMX

Let’s face the facts, we all pixel peep. I believe that over time, passionate photographers get a bit anxious about technical perfection in their images (I know I sure do sometimes). However, some niches such as event photography are not as fussed over technical mistakes as long as the moment captured is important.

There is be a fine balance between taking a good photograph by technique and taking a good photograph by design (aka a great and powerful moment). However, if you have to choose between capturing a fantastic story and ensuring equipment perfection, pick the story.

Many wonderful images are overlooked because the focus is too set on ensuring that an image is tack sharp rather than what the subject portrays.

Of course, this isn’t meant to be interpreted as disregarding technical proficiency. You should aim to take exceptional photographs, but don’t get lost in your pursuit and forget your purpose for photographing the event.

Your turn

Now that you have these tips in your photography toolbelt, go out there and take some wicked shots!

Band: Epica

The post 11 Ideas for More Unique Concert Photos appeared first on Digital Photography School.

Video: How Nikon tests its D850 DSLR against the elements

If you're sensitive to gore, you might want to turn your head. Nikon Asia has published a video on its YouTube channel that dives into the brutal depths the company goes to in order to test the ruggedness of its DSLR cameras — specifically the Nikon D850.

In the two-minute video, Nikon ambassadors and workers detail the amount of thought, research and methods that go into practically testing how its cameras will handle tough environments. Although there are plenty of automated tests going on, this particular video, titled 'True Reliability' takes a look at the more hands-on testing.

Specifically, the video shows how Nikon tests its cameras in dusty conditions, wet environments and extreme temperatures, all well beyond what you could reasonably expect from even the most challenging shoots. There's even a few drop tests in there for good measure.

It's not as long or in-depth a look as we would like, but it goes to show how few stones are left unturned when checking for resiliency in Nikon cameras.

5 Photography Mistakes You Need to Avoid When Shooting Seascapes

Here are some practical steps to take and 5 photography mistakes you want to avoid in order to help you capture better seascape images.

Capturing seascapes is a very popular past-time and one of the most enjoyable and fascinating types of landscape photography. People love to capture the ocean and for good reason.

Seas around the world are more accessible than ever to the majority of us. People take regular holidays to visit the abundance of natural beaches and the ocean provides a fantastic place of escape and freedom from bustling towns and cities.

beach and palm tree - 5 Photography Mistakes You Need to Avoid When Shooting Seascapes

The ocean is a breathtakingly beautiful place and offers peace, tranquility, and an ideal opportunity to capture some memorable images. While the coastline offers photographers spectacular seas and atmospheric skies, recording these scenes can be challenging.

Mistake #1 – Cloudless skies

A common mistake that is often presented in seascape imagery is a vast expanse of empty sky without any texture or formation from clouds to lift the image.

Seascape rocky shore sunset - Here are some practical steps to take and mistakes you want to avoid to help you capture better seascape images.

To avoid this pitfall, head to the coast on partially cloudy days. Photographing ocean vistas to include the different patterns and shapes of clouds above the sea will help your images to become more inspiring.

If you find yourself taking pictures by the sea during first and last light, you will discover the colors in the sky can look even more dramatic than at other times of the day. This can beautify your image with vibrant sunset skies igniting the sky.

Alternatively, capturing big white clouds to complement a blue sky or dark, moody and overcast skies can add drama and emotion to your images.

Seascape with clouds - 5 Photography Mistakes You Need to Avoid When Shooting Seascapes

Mistake #2 – Not checking the tide schedule

If you are unprepared during a visit to photograph the ocean by not checking the tide schedule, you may get caught out by incoming tides and even freak waves during adverse weather.

The sea and waves can be unpredictable and powerful. I have ended up with wet shoes countless times while trying to capture the moving waves. Be mindful of the risks the ocean presents to you and the harmful impact the saltwater can have on your camera and equipment.

Always protect your camera (a plastic bag can keep it safe from the salty sea air) and be sure to clean your camera when you return home.

Seascape long exposure - 5 Photography Mistakes You Need to Avoid When Shooting Seascapes

If you would like to capture the swell of the ocean at high tide or an exposed bay of rocks during low tide, be sure to check the tide times and visit at the right hour.

You will find that planning to be at the coast when the tide is at a certain point will help you shoot better compositions and seascape photos.

Mistake #3 – Not considering your composition

Capturing beautiful images of the coast is not as straightforward as you might think, especially if you don’t think about your composition carefully. A few things worth considering are leading lines and the rule of thirds.

Seascape blue sunset - 5 Photography Mistakes You Need to Avoid When Shooting Seascapes

Leading lines are a great way to lead the viewer’s eye into the frame toward the main focal point in the photo. They can help to create depth in an image and provide more purpose.

When photographing the sea, you will find that placing the horizon in the middle of the image will generally be less effective than positioning the water level above or below the center of the frame.

Seascape simplified - 5 Photography Mistakes You Need to Avoid When Shooting Seascapes

You may be asking if should you include more sea or more sky in your composition? Well, that depends on the nature of the scene in front of you and what is the most interesting and important aspect of the story.

If the sky is compelling and vibrant, your image will be stronger by including more sky. But if the sky is uninviting and lacks drama while the ocean is swirling beautifully, compose the image to include more of the sea.

Whatever you decide to shoot, be imaginative and creative with your composition and capture some great images.

Mistake #4 – No focal point

Seascape blue water and a fish - 5 Photography Mistakes You Need to Avoid When Shooting Seascapes

One of the great benefits of being by the coast is the variety of subjects to shoot. However, it is surprising to see the number of times beginner photographers take images of the sea without including a strong focal point in their images.

You could focus your camera on any number of interesting material at the sea such as piers, fishing boats, lighthouses, cliffs, rocks or fish.

Mistake #5 – Not including any foreground interest in the shot

While the sea can make an exciting subject, a mistake newbie photographers tend to make when capturing the ocean is to photograph the sea and sky with nothing in the foreground.

This can occasionally work well in the right light and setting.

Seascape foreground rocks - 5 Photography Mistakes You Need to Avoid When Shooting Seascapes

But capturing an extra element such as cliff ledges, flowers, shells, or footprints in the sand will add context and another dimension to your image to help it stand out.

Conclusion

The best seascape images rarely happen by chance. Instead, they are the result of careful planning, diligence, and practice. Keep exposing, avoid these photography mistakes and use the tips and with plenty of practice, you will soon be capturing breathtakingly beautiful images!

How about you, what do you enjoy about seascape photography? Please share your tips and images below, as well as any questions you might have.

The post 5 Photography Mistakes You Need to Avoid When Shooting Seascapes appeared first on Digital Photography School.

Sony claims top spot in full-frame interchangeable lens camera market, launches ‘Be Alpha’ campaign

In a press release issued this morning, Sony announced it has sold more full-frame cameras than any other brand in the US over the past six months, measured both by units sold and by value.

Perhaps more impressively, the company is also celebrating occupying the top position in the overall mirrorless market, a spot it has owned for the past six years thanks to the huge success of the a6000, as well as sales of the a7 series.

That's all good news for Sony, yes, but it's probably no coincidence that Sony was the last brand to release a mass-market full frame camera. It's been a year since Canon's last entry in the category, and a similar amount of time since Nikon announced the D850. And either way, we don't recommend getting too invested in brand market share, but that's just us.

Sony's also taking the opportunity to launch a brand new 'Be Alpha' campaign, which will comprise a number of in-person events in major cities, starting on August 19th in New York City to celebrate World Photography Day. The initiative also includes an 'Alpha Female' program, which will include grants, mentorship and events to address "the imaging industry’s well-documented diversity challenges."


Sony Celebrates No.1 Overall Position in U.S. Full-frame Cameras with Launch of Historic “Be Alpha” Campaign

SAN DIEGO, Aug. 15, 2018 – Sony Electronics, Inc. – a worldwide leader in digital imaging and the world’s largest image sensor manufacturer – today announced that it has overtaken and held the No. 1 overall position in the United States full-frame interchangeable lens camera market in the first half of 2018, in both dollars and units1. In fact, four out of every 10 full-frame cameras sold during this time period have come from the Sony brand1.

Additionally, Sony has announced that within the overall mirrorless market, it has held the No. 1 position in both dollars and units for more than six years2. These strong results can be attributed to the company’s leadership in transitioning the market from older DSLR technology to next-generation mirrorless cameras.

Much of Sony’s recent success has been driven by sales of the acclaimed α7R III and α7 III models, as well as the rapid adoption of the α9 camera amongst professional sports photographers and photojournalists. The brand’s extremely active community has played a major part as well, as evidenced by the strong engagement on key social platforms like Instagram, where the official @SonyAlpha page has just surpassed the coveted one million followers count.

As a celebration of these historic achievements, Sony has announced the launch of its extensive “Be Alpha” campaign that will connect creators of all types with the brand and its ever-growing roster of talented photographers and videographers.

“We’re extremely proud of achieving No. 1 overall share in Full-frame cameras in the US market, as well as holding a strong No. 1 share in the mirrorless market for six years running” said Neal Manowitz, vice president of Digital Imaging at Sony Electronics. “More than anything, we owe this to our community. It is our pleasure to create for you, the true creators. You pushed us to innovate, to change, to continually adapt, and your voice remains core to everything we do.”

Manowitz added, “To ‘Be Alpha’ is to be a leader, to be an innovator, to stand out amongst the crowd. It represents everything we stand for as a brand. Our campaign will celebrate the extended Sony community, while also shining a light on the topics that that we are most passionate about – diversity, conservation, equality and much more.”

Sony’s “Be Alpha” movement will be headlined by a series of community events in major markets throughout North America in 2018 and beyond, beginning with the official launch event on August 19th, World Photography Day, in New York City. The campaign will encourage all creators to get involved by sharing their own “Be Alpha” content on all relevant social platforms while tagging #BeAlpha.

The “Be Alpha” campaign will also feature programs that are designed to foster growth in both the current and next generations of imaging professionals, the most notable of which being the flagship “Alpha Female” program. This multi-tiered, female exclusive program is Sony’s thoughtful response to the imaging industry’s well-documented diversity challenges. It will include a variety of grants and mentorship opportunities for female photographers and videographers, as well as the production of several large-scale industry events. Additional details to be released soon.

All key information regarding Sony’s “Be Alpha” movement, including the campaign launch video, will be hosted at www.alphauniverse.com/BeAlpha. This page will be continually updated with information on new events, content pieces and more.

A variety of additional stories and exciting new content shot with Sony products can be found at www.alphauniverse.com , Sony’s community site built to educate, inspire and showcase all fans and customers of the Sony α brand.

A chart summarizing Sony’s rapid growth in Full-frame market is included below:

  1. Source: The NPD Group, Inc., U.S. Retail Tracking Service, Detachable Lens Camera, Sensor Size: Full Frame, Based on dollar and unit sales, Jan. - June 2018.
  2. Source: Sony internal historical data sources.
  3. Source: The NPD Group, Inc., U.S. Retail Tracking Service, Detachable Lens Camera, Sensor Size: Full Frame, Based on dollar sales, Jan.- Dec. 2017 vs. Jan.- Dec. 2016.
  4. Source: The NPD Group, Inc., U.S. Retail Tracking Service, Detachable Lens Camera, Sensor Size: Full Frame, Based on adjusted dollar sales, Jan.- June 2018 vs. Jan.- June 2017. Sales are adjusted for 5wk Jan. 2018 vs. 4wk Jan. 2017.

Review: the GoPro Fusion is a different kind of action camera

Introduction to the Fusion and OverCapture

The GoPro Fusion ships with an extendable selfie stick that doubles as a small tripod.

GoPro may have jump started the action camera market, but the Fusion is different than all the GoPros that came before it: it's a true 360 camera. Instead of using a single forward-facing lens, its two ultra-wide angle lenses capture a full 360 spherical image of everything around it.

Unlike most 360 cameras, the Fusion is designed to create both spherical and standard HD videos, potentially offering action camera users more capability than they can get from their current action camera – something that's become progressively difficult in a highly commoditized market. If action/adventure is your game and your workflow is geared towards mobile and web, the GoPro Fusion may be the camera you’re looking for.

Key features

  • 360 video: 5.2K/30p, 3K/60p
  • 360 photo: 18MP 5K 360 photos (5760 x 2880)
  • OverCapture for creating HD videos
  • Image stabilization
  • Spatial audio (4 microphones)
  • Waterproof (5m/16ft.)
  • GPS
  • Wi-Fi + Bluetooth
  • Smartphone app + desktop software
  • Includes two 32GB SD cards (75 minutes record time)
  • Removable battery (75-80 minutes record time)
A view of the Fusion's twin offset lenses.

What makes the Fusion most exciting, and what is arguably its main selling point, is 'OverCapture', a feature that allows you to pull standard 1080p HD videos from anywhere within the 360 sphere.

This is an entirely different way of producing video content. Since you're capturing every single direction at once, you can frame your shot after you've shot it. For an action camera user, this unshackles you from the confines of recording a single, unchanging perspective and opens the doors to generating complex camera moves for more compelling footage.

OverCapture is an entirely different way of producing video content. You can frame your shot after you've shot it.

To be fair, the Fusion isn't the first consumer camera to provide this functionality. The Rylo Camera offers a similar feature, and as we discussed in our review of the Rylo it works impressively well. (The main difference between the Fusion and the Rylo comes down to how you edit over-captured video: the GoPro lets you pan/tilt your phone to follow the action, whereas the Rylo provides excellent subject tracking to follow the action. Both methods work well.)

Let's take a look at a real world example. To create the two videos below, I set the camera in the middle of a skate-park and asked Colin Flynn, founder of Fool’s Gold Surf, to skate around it. In the first video, you can drag around to see all the angles or, if you’re watching using a VR headset, you can just look around in any direction.

This is an example of 360 video captured with the GoPro Fusion. You can drag around the image to look in different directions.

The second video was created from the exact same camera footage, but using OverCapture to follow Colin's movement on the mobile app (literally by moving my phone around as if I was recording in real-time), then exported as a standard HD video.

This video was created from the exact same clip as the one above, except that I used OverCapture to follow the action on my phone after the clip was recorded, then exported it as a standard HD video.

You can do all of this - and share it - from the mobile app. You can do the same with the desktop software, though as we'll see, there are some glaring differences between the two and OverCapture does have its limitations.

Despite being GoPro’s first foray into the 360 camera space, the Fusion gets a lot of things right and performs well.

In fact, one important consideration when using OverCapture is that while the camera may be high resolution, you're exporting a 1920x1080 HD video (if shot on 5.2K), or 1280x720 HD video (if shot in 60fps 3K). Furthermore, if you zoom in, you’re losing more resolution relative to how much you’re punching in on that OverCapture frame, so if 4K is essential to your needs, or you’re interested in the Fusion primarily for action footage using OverCapture, those are things you might want to think about.

Despite being GoPro’s first foray into the 360 camera space, the Fusion gets a lot of things right and performs well. The things it doesn't do well could, for the most part, be remedied by firmware and software updates, and we'll take a look at some of those things in the following pages.

Yuneec Mantis Q 4K camera drone offers voice control and 33 minute flight time

Yuneec has introduced the Mantis Q, a consumer drone with an integrated 4K camera, electronic image stabilization and voice control. The model is designed for both outdoor and indoor use, utilizing down-facing dual sensor alongside infrared detection to navigation inside buildings. Mantis Q includes a controller with a smartphone mount in addition to the voice control.

Yuneec Mantis Q is small and lightweight at 16.7 x 9.7 x 5.6cm / 6.6 x 3.8 x 2.2in when folded; it weights of 0.5kg / 1lb. The drone's integrated camera supports recording video and capturing images at 4800 x 2700 (16:9) and 4160 x 3120 (4:3), as well as recording Full HD video with electronic stabilization. Still images are saved to a microSD card in either DNG or JPEG formats.

Users can control both the camera and the drone using voice commands, using phrases like "Take a picture" or "Take a video." Gesture Control enables the user to take a selfie using a hand wave, and there's also face detection that snaps a photo when the camera detects a smile. Recording modes include Orbit Me and Point of Interest.

The Mantis Q has a flight time of up to 33 minutes and a top speed of 44mph / 71kph, as well as a drone racing mode with a live video feed that is presented on a smartphone.

Yuneec is now accepting pre-orders for Mantis Q. The drone with a controller, single battery, spare propellers, a three-port charger, power supply, and USB cable is $499.99 USD. There's also an X-Pack that adds three batteries and a travel shoulder bag for $649.99 USD.

Via: New Atlas

10 Dos and Don’ts for Mastering Your Tripod

Love ’em or hate ’em, tripods are an essential piece of gear for all photographers. It will keep your camera steady during long exposures, support the weight of those big lenses you need for wildlife photography, and hold your camera in what could otherwise be an awkward position for macro photography.

But just like any other tool, a tripod can be used the right way, and the wrong way.

10 Dos and Don'ts for Mastering Your Tripod - photographer under a rock arch

DO – Get a good tripod that fits your gear

First of all, make sure your tripod is sturdy and solid. There are a wide variety of models available that range anywhere from $20 on into the thousands, and there is a reason for that. A bargain tripod will hold a small point-and-shoot camera steady but is not strong enough to keep your heavy DSLR steady during a long exposure.

Even if you have a high-quality tripod, there are still some things to consider such as its weight limit and maximum height. Make sure your tripod is built to hold the weight of your camera, biggest lens, flash, and any other accessories you might put on it.

You might also want to consider if your tripod should be as tall as you are. If you need to look through your viewfinder, having a tall tripod will mean you can use it more comfortably without bending down. On the other hand, if you have an LCD screen that flips up, a tall tripod is less important.

A good tripod should last decades with proper storage and care, so it’s worth the investment.

photographer on sand dunes - 10 Dos and Don'ts for Mastering Your Tripod

DO –  Make sure your tripod is sufficiently weighted

The weight of the tripod itself is also something to think about. Typically they are made from aluminum which is relatively inexpensive but heavy. For a higher price, you can get one made of carbon fiber, which is strong and lightweight but more expensive.

A carbon fiber tripod is an excellent choice for nature and wildlife photographers who have to walk or hike long distances while carrying their gear. However, they are so light that a stiff breeze could potentially knock the tripod over, taking your camera with it. If you are using a lighter tripod and there is a lot of wind, anchor the legs of the tripod or hang a rock, sandbag, or your camera bag from the center to weigh it down.

I recommend going for a light tripod otherwise it will tend to get left at home. A light tripod is easy to carry and you can always weigh it down on a windy day.

sunset over Canyon de Chelly, Arizona - 10 Dos and Don'ts for Mastering Your Tripod

DO – Extend the thickest sections of the legs first

When a tripod folds up, its legs unlock and collapse into sections (usually three or four). The thickest sections of the leg are the most stable. So if you’re not raising your tripod to full height, extend the thicker upper sections before you bring the thinner lower parts into play.

DON’T – Raise the center column until the legs are fully extended

Raising the tripod using the legs offers much more stability than using the center column, which can sway slightly during long exposures. For maximum sharpness, the center column should be used to gain extra height only after the legs are fully extended.

DO – Remove the center column altogether

Consider whether you are more likely to require additional height, or if you would rather be able to get lower to the ground. Some tripods allow you to remove the center column, which means you can set up your tripod lower to the ground for super low-angle shots.

Gatklettur, or Arch Rock, in Arnarstapi, Iceland - 10 Dos and Don'ts for Mastering Your Tripod

DON’T – Touch the tripod or camera during the exposure

If you’re doing a long exposure, even a slight nudge on the tripod can cause blur. Make sure that nothing touches the camera or tripod while the shutter is open. A camera strap blowing in the wind comes to mind.

Ideally, you should use a remote shutter release or 2-second self-timer to prevent movement when you press the shutter button.

DON’T – Carry your camera mounted on the tripod

Okay, I have to admit I’m guilty of this one! It can be tempting to leave your camera attached to the tripod as you walk from location to location – it makes set-up and take-down so much faster when you need to get the shot.

But the release plates and screws that hold the camera to the tripod assume that gravity will be working with them. They aren’t built to hold the camera at an angle, especially with the bustling and bumping that can happen while walking around outside. By doing this, you risk your precious camera coming loose and taking a bad spill.

DO – Protect your tripod from water, sand and other debris

A good tripod should be fairly rugged, but tiny particles can get inside the tripod and erode the screws that make it move smoothly and fasten securely. Avoid submerging the joints and locks in sand or silty water, and if your tripod does get dirty, make sure it is clean and dry before folding it back up.

I often use my tripod on the beach and sometimes submerge it in salt water. A solution to the problem of getting sand and salt in the tripod is to not collapse it again. I just leave all the legs extended until I get home (or to home base if traveling) and can rinse it off.

Hraunfosser Waterfall, Iceland - 10 Dos and Don'ts for Mastering Your Tripod

DON’T – Over-tighten the screws

Some tripods have spinning screw locks that tighten the legs, and some fasten with clips that are held on with bolts that may need to be adjusted from time to time.

Either way, you want these screws to be secure enough, but you don’t want to muscle them so tight that they can’t be unlocked. Worse, you could strip and damage the threads. Most screws on a tripod should be firmly finger-tight, and no more.

DO – Turn off image stabilization

The image stabilization technology inside cameras and lenses is fantastic when hand-holding the camera, but can actually backfire when used on a tripod.

This is because the stabilization system itself causes vibrations, and when it’s mounted on a stable base such as a tripod, it actually detects its own vibration. It works harder to stabilize this, which causes it to vibrate, even more, compounding the problem.

Therefore, this setting should be turned off when your camera is mounted on a tripod.

10 Dos and Don'ts for Mastering Your Tripod - photographer in a desert valley

Over to you

There’s nothing worse than making a big investment in your photography only to find it isn’t helping very much. So make sure you are using your tripod properly to get those sharp images you are after.

The post 10 Dos and Don’ts for Mastering Your Tripod appeared first on Digital Photography School.

3 Legged Thing launches the affordable Patti tripod

British manufacturer 3 Legged Thing today launched a new affordable today. Despite an entry-level price point of $120, the company says its new Patti offers the same quality and versatility as the more expensive models in its Punks range.

A maximum payload of 10kg (22lbs) should be more than enough for most smaller DSLRs and mirrorless setups, and its ABS plastic flip leg locks instead of the more expensive models' twist lock systems help keep the price down. The legs are made from aircraft grade magnesium.

The Patti features a removable and reversible single section center column, allowing for low angled shots and a minimum shooting height of 11cm (4.3"). Packed down the new model measures 45cm (17.7") and extends to a maximum height of 1.63m (64") when unfolded and set up.

The tripod is supplied with the company's AirHead Mini head, a simplified version of its AirHead ball head variant. The latter comes with controls for the Arca Swiss style release plate as well as the ball head and panoramic rotation.

The Patti is available to pre-order from today and will be released September 15th. More information is available on the 3 Legged Thing website.

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