- Category: Basics
- Published Tuesday, October 16 2012 8:41am
- Written by Abel Longoria
Tripods are a great tool when shooting photographs at night of cityscapes and low light landscapes. Typically when you want a very deep depth of field and or light trails of passing cars you need to shoot using the smallest aperture possible. When using those small apertures means you'll then yield a very slow shutter speed in order to compensate and this is where tripods come in!
There are many levels of tripods from the $20 special to the $1,000 monster. I've owned tripods from every level and I must say that the worst thing than having even a cheapy inexpensive tripod is
not having a tripod at all! I've found myself in several situations needing a tripod for a particular shot I have in mind only to realize I left it in the hotel room. Not good.
I often recommend all new photographers get a tripod, it doesn't matter the price range or build. Sure more expensive ones are nicer and better built but honestly there's no real reason for a beginner photographer to spend as much on a tripod as they did on their entire camera rig. Get a basic, standard entry level tripod for now and you'll be fine for the time being. In time, you'll realize what it is you like and don't like about your current tripod setup and will be much more educated when purchasing your second tripod.
When shooting these long exposure shots at night the method shown in the video is a great tip in order to be certain that there is no camera blur or shake in your images. I often use my wireless remote when I shoot long exposures but if your camera is not equipped with a wireless remote the self timer will work just as good.
The photo above is one of those instances I spoke of where I found myself without a tripod and I had to borrow a friend's tripod for a few minutes in order to capture the shot. From this point on I made sure to never leave my tripod at the hotel or back at home when out on a shoot. I'd rather have the tripod with me and not need it then to need it and not have it.
Next time your out shooting night time cityscapes and light trails be sure to give this method a try and see how you like it.