Tripods, monopods and bits of string

Digital Photography School have finished their series on tripods and monopods by listing some alternative products and ideas. I have three tripods, two are bulky, one of those is fairly heavy and the other is a small 6 inch high one that fits in my camera bag. The small one gets the most use as the other two are either at home or in the car when I need more stability.

He forgot one alternative, the string tripod which is assembled from a length of string and a bolt small enough to fit the tripod mount socket on a camera. It’s also called a chain tripod. Simply screw the bolt into your camera, stand on the other end of the string and hold the camera to your eye making sure the string is taut. Sources say you’ll get 2 stops extra or shoot at 1/8 sec which is quite impressive. What’s more, it’s a lot more portable than any other tripod or monopod. I really must do some testing and see just how well it works.

Further reading

  • String tripod – extend it with two strings to each foot for extra stability.
  • Close up shots of the nuts and bolts of the string tripod.

The rest of the DPS tripod series is worth a read too:

Looking for a wedding photographer?

When Thomas Hawk had a less than satisfactory experience with a family photographer he blogged about it and the resulting discussion is interesting because there are comments from customers and photographers. The problem is that photographs own the copyright of any images they take. They don’t have to give the customer digital files because part of the revenue stream photographers depend on is making prints. The reasoning goes that the customer can make as many prints as they want if they had the files.

If you think portrait photography is over-priced, consider for a moment the investment the photographer has made in equipment, time, insurance, salaries and other expenses. They have to make a living too. Chris Garrett provides his own views on the matter with some good advice:

  1. Discuss beforehand your requirements (both Photographer and client)
  2. Provide the option of work-for-hire rather than traditional portrait shoot.

My own experiences with a photographer were much more positive. We hired Mike English to shoot our wedding after making enquiries of many other photographers. Mike is based in Cork and works from home so he can keep his costs down, a bonus when you’re paying for an expensive wedding. From the moment we met him he was pleasant and patient, answering our questions and showing us prints of past weddings. Most importantly, he’s very good at what he does. We have great memories and photos of the day and he gave us the digital files so I can work on the photos in my own time and compile a wedding album myself. Oh, and his son shot the video and did a great job, without a huge halogen lamp beaming down on the dance floor. I still cringe when I see my speech however!

All the technology in the world…

After the leaked picture of the Canon 30D I think we were all relieved when the real thing really didn’t have buttons for wine and beer. It didn’t make coffee so I can just imagine inebriated journalists running around a war zone.. “What the Duck” does have a camera that makes coffee but it doesn’t improve compositional skills in any way whatsoever. :)

It would be nice to have a coffee-making camera while out and about though, wouldn’t it?

How is Cork changing?

Bryan Person asked me How is Cork changing? Where does your obvious passion for street photography come from?

How is Cork changing?

  • The streets of the city centre are being rebuilt and modernised. The sewage system was overhauled and the River Lee is clean(er) again.
  • There are more cars on the road now than you can “shake a stick at”. Everyone seems to have 2 cars and the best of everything. There’s a huge line of credit coming from the banks.
  • Time was when you could walk around Cork on Sunday afternoons and not see many people, this was less than 10 years. Now Sunday is as busy as any day. There hasn’t been this many people living in Ireland since the famine in the 1840’s. People are actually emigrating to Ireland, not out of Ireland.
  • People are more positive about the future, there are more opportunities out there, but people are just as stressed and unhappy as they’ve always been. Perhaps more so as we’ve become wealthier.

Where does your obvious passion for street photography come from?
The simple answer is “other people”. The long answer expands on that. There are such a variety of people in the world, all going about their own business, all doing mundane things that they don’t give a moment’s thought to but if I capture it then that moment is there forever. That moment relaxing with a cigarette, walking down the street, talking on the phone, or even dancing! I see the moment and grab it before it gets away.

I have a hunger for recording events around me.