With the holiday season approaching, many photographers are hoping for the gift of a reliable tripod that they will actually use. I wanted to share my learning about the new Cameron CF700BH tripod with this in mind. A tripod that goes unused is worthless. After over forty years as a photographer, and nearly ten years as a photographic educator, I’ve learned that photographers avoid using a tripod for three reasons.

It’s a fact that the closer you are to your sound source you intend to record, the better the audio and less editing you’ll have to do down the road. This chapter outlines some techniques and tips on using boom mics to do such a task. The length of the boompole is generally dependent on the type of production. Poles for commercial projects like TV, commercials or feature films typically range from 12 to 15 feet. Documentary-style projects like you see on reality TV and the news typically range from 5 to 8 feet.

Some Truths About Tripods

That a tripod is an asset is a given. Great tripods take away the challenge of camera shake. They provide a firm compositional platform so you can spend more time thinking about the story your image is going to tell and setting up the image just right. They remove a lot of concerns about shutter speed, aperture and ISO, affording you the flexibility to make the decisions in the exposure triangle and in lens choice by reducing the constraints created by dim light, long focal length, the need for massive depth of field and the need to allow for motion blur.

Cameron HSS240 TTL Flash Triggers

Shortly after we get our first speed light style flash, we realize that photos made with the flash mounted on the camera can look flat and harsh. So we want to get the flash off the camera. Fortunately many OEMs build some type of remote control capability into some of their cameras, but sadly not into all of them. This type of remote control uses the pop-up flash to communicate to the remotes via Infrared signalling. When it works, it’s awesome, but as this mode requires a direct line of sight between the camera and the other flashes, there’s an element of chance of failure.

Cameron W700HS Flash for Nikon or Canon

Photographers often have a love/hate relationship with flash. I love flash and use it a great deal. Others find it hard to use and avoid it like it was toxic.  I cannot fix that for you here, but I can tell you about two new flashes, available exclusively at Henry’s that will do a great job for you, both on and off camera.

Cameras have evolved for as long as there has been photography. The only thing that has changed in the last decade is the pace of change. We have more choices, more options in the choices and more delivery mechanisms than ever. When we buy a new camera for ourselves, or as a gift, how do we know what to consider? The fastest growing segment in the marketplace is what are referred to as mirrorless cameras, or mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras, or compact system cameras, or interchangeable lens compacts. Yes, you guessed it, they’re all the same thing. Photography like so many other things seems doomed to seek many ways to say the same thing.

Choosing Your Next Lens

At some point in our lives as photographers, we all feel like we need a different look, a different perspective, a different way of seeing. We also find that we just don’t have enough range for the things we wish to photograph. In other situations, we may have developed, or be developing areas of specialization that require special tools for success. All of these scenarios can broach the question, how do I choose my next lens?

How many times has it happened where you take a shot, using the camera settings and things just don’t look quite right?  Probably not all that often, because today’s cameras do an amazing job most of the time.  Manufacturers have analyzed millions of images to develop automatic and semi-automatic modes that do a great job for you.  But let’s talk about two situations where the automation may not do what is needed.

Real Photo Editing On Your Smartphone

If you have a smartphone, you probably take photos with it. At some point, the generic styles of Instagram get boring and you want to do more. Maybe you want to do some more sophisticated editing on your tablet or Surface. Lots of people are making images using portable devices, but the editing tools are mostly of the “slap on a preset” type so you can look like everybody else.