Tripod & Hiking

How to get sharper images? A common question every photographer is asked. Pemigewasset Wilderness - Tripod on rocks along the North Fork East Branch Pemigewasset River in Lincoln, New Hampshire USA. The Pemi Wilderness is one of the best places to hike in the White Mountains of New Hampshire
Bulky & Heavy Tripod On Rock

How to get sharper images? A common question photographers are asked. I have noticed that most people asking this question are carrying tiny plastic tripods that weigh only ounces. Can you imagine putting a six pound camera on a flimsy plastic tripod in 10 mile per hour winds on the open ridge? I wouldn't do it..

Lightweight plastic tripods have a place in the camera bag and can be used in many situations, but I don't think they should be relied on as an everyday tripod. And I realize there are some very good plastic tripods on the market, but most of the lower end ones can’t handle the rigorous demands of nature photographers.

How to get sharper images? A common question every photographer is asked. Backpack next to the East Branch of the Pemigewasset River in the Pemigewasset Wilderness of Lincoln, New Hampshire USA during the winter months.
Tripod Attached To Backpack

After the camera and lenses, I think the most important piece of gear for a nature photographer is a solid tripod. When shooting in windy conditions (open ridges, etc.),  a solid tripod will handle wind vibration much better than a small cheap plastic one, and the ending result will be a sharp image.

No doubt about it a solid tripod is heavy and a burden to carry on your backpack, but the positives of using a good tripod far outweigh the negatives. They are pricey, but worth every dollar! Personally I would never put a $4500.00 camera system on a flimsy plastic tripod. And keep in mind, a tripod isn’t always needed to produce sharp images. There are plenty of situations when you can hand hold your camera, and get excellent results.

Happy image making..


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Erin Paul is a professional photographer who specializes in environmental conservation and historic preservation photography in the New Hampshire White Mountains. His work is published worldwide, and credits include; Backpacker Magazine, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the Appalachian Mountain Club, and The Wilderness Society.

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