Wednesday, November 28, 2012

In Praise of the New Tripod

I've often admitted that my photos for this blog are kind of crappy. It's just me & a tripod with five minutes in the morning before I head out to work.

I don't have a fancy studio with lights & a backdrop, & I don't have anyone else to take photos for me & say "honey, remember to stick your neck out so you don't get a double-chin" or to wait until the wind doesn't mess up my hair or scarf. I take pictures outside because the lighting is marginally better there than in the bat-cave of my house. I use the 10-second timer on my camera & hope for the best. I'd been using a cheap old tripod that wasn't exactly steady & was very crooked -- things I'd have to fix in PhotoShop every night.

Well finally, I bought a new tripod, & wow, that sure helped! I still have weak lighting, the timer, solo photoshoots, & minimal time in the morning, but at least the camera is held up sturdy & level. Every little bit helps.

What I'm wearing:
Black & white stripe sweater, Chadwicks
Black long-sleeve knit top, Old Navy
Black skirt, NY & Company
Black tights, Calvin Klein
Burgundy faux-suede boots, DSW
Black skull-print scarf, gift from my husband
Pewter square earrings, local artist

How do you take photos for your blog? What equipment do you use? Does anyone help you out?


  1. I have a mini-tripod (4 inches tall). Lately I've been (*blush*) setting it on top of my car. I use the 10 second timer and make it take 10 photos at a time in the hopes that by the time I get to numbers 7 or 8 I remember to stick out my chin and smile. On average, I take between 50 and 70 shots to get one I don't hate. Is that pathetic?

  2. Yup, I do the same thing. I set my camera and run like hell trying not to knock over the tripod and making sure that I don't muss myself too much. HA! I believe the timer on my camera is 12 seconds, which is enough time to get in my spot and make a cheesy smile. I use the spot by my altar because there's a window directly across from it and it's the only spot with good light. The camera I use is a fancy Pentax that Ed bought me for my birthday years and years ago. I was doing a lot of art then and needed something to catalogue and record it. I use it for a lot more than just art these days including my blog photos and snapping images within the pages of St. Nicholas for presentations. And no one helps me at all. I have the placement of the camera, height of the tripod and focus pretty well memorized so taking photos for my blog is pretty easy ... but like Rebecca it takes a quite a few photos before I get one I'm happy with.

  3. I like your photos, but I understand how a good tripod is a good tripod ;)
    I do the set the timer and run thing too! Sometimes Derek helps me outside (lately), but it's so darn cold here!

  4. My photo process is basically the same as yours! Maybe it will be time for a new tripod soon :)

  5. Ooo, there's something I should do - the multiple-photo setting! Thanks for reminding me about that one. Does take more time to weed thru them later, but increases the chances of getting a good shot. Not pathetic at all - it's what the pros do!

  6. Totally identify with 'run like hell'! At least my new tripod is less likely to be knocked over ;-) I love your photos, it always looks so pretty inside your house.

  7. True, at least I *can* take pix outdoors most of the time. I only resort to the front patio when it rains (& the light isn't great there).

  8. I'm liking this new tripod, & it was still pretty inexpensive. Just bigger than my old one.

  9. Actually I can weed through them pretty quickly; there will usually be one set that is out of focus, one that didn't get my shoes, sometimes one that missed my head....Then its just a matter of flipping through the rest making snap judgements about whether I like the way it looks.

  10. If you use a DSLR, you can get a remote (usually starting at around $30) that works out much better than the timer. You can shoot photo after photo without running back and forth to the camera in between each shot. Much easier to stay composed, and to grab the shot between gusts of wind. :)

  11. I've gotten pretty quick with the "weeding" process, too. I know what to look for that I usually mess up (glare from one of the lights on my glasses, cat tail in the photo, too many shots in basically the same pose) and just go with my instincts and delete, delete, delete. When I have it down to 8 or 10 decent ones I open those up in Photoshop and pick from there with a more critical eye. Or sometimes I only end up with 2 decent ones, so the decision is easy. ;)

  12. True, I'm sure it goes fast once you get the hang of it!