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The tripod is your friend…

…and of course we all know this. Nevertheless, I was reminded of it twice recently, besides the comment by the pro photographer at Mono Lake who quoted Ansel Adams that any tripod that can be carried in one hand is “too small”. :-)

On Sunday, when I traveled to the end of Dyer Road in the Altamont for the first time, I saw a photographer with a *very* large, much-greater-than-$1000, Canon L-series lens walking around and taking shots without a tripod. Maybe he forgot the tripod, but I am willing to bet that his excursion resulted in fewer high-quality usable photos than if he had taken a tripod with him and used it.

The other time was when I read an article in the latest “Currents”, the NANPA newsletter, about “noise” in electronic circuitry. The article was written by an amateur photographer (for more than 45 years) who taught surveillance photography to police departments, as a special agent for the FBI. One of the author’s observations was that there was more electronic noise associated with using higher ISO numbers on digital cameras than by using increased exposure times at lower ISO numbers. (Those increased exposure times directly benefit from the added stability of a tripod.)

So, next time, take a tripod and use it, and see whether the number of photos that you throw away decreases dramatically…

The latest issue of Currents is the “technology issue”, and also has an article on “Offsite Backups”. In the article, the author estimates that perhaps 5 percent of the freelance population, who depend on their digital data, back up regularly. Scary. :-)

A good friend, whom I first met as a coworker at Netscape, always told me, “Blessèd are the paranoid, for they make backups.” Backups are as essential to digital photographers as they are to anyone else who uses a computer, perhaps more so.

And you don’t even have to be paranoid, but it helps…

-Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo

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