When a Tripod Isn't Enough

January 28, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

During my recent road trip through South Dakota, I visited Badlands National Park for a few days. During my time in the Badlands, I had the opportunity to shoot three sunrises and two sunsets. Of those five sessions, the lighting was good for two of them. The beauty of getting five tries at it is that it improves the chances of capturing some good photographs.

The best light (and sky) came on a very cold and windy evening. There was a wind advisory with winds blowing at 35 mph and gusts up to 55 mph. What made it worse was that the temperature was in the 30's.

A couple of years ago I faced similar windy conditions while shooting from the Panoramic Point Overlook in Badlands National Park. At that time I could see the lens vibrating from the wind. My approach back then was to try to stabilize the lens by resting my left hand on the barrel. I also activated the VR (vibration reduction) feature on the lens. And, I boosted the ISO setting so that I could use a higher shutter speed. Needless to say, the camera was secured to a tripod and I activated the shutter by using a cable release with the mirror locked up. To my disappointment, when I returned home and started processing the images I noticed that most of them weren't tack sharp.

This time I tried a different approach. Like before, I placed the camera on a tripod. I also boosted the ISO--but this time I raised it from the base setting of 100 to just 200. Then, I lowered the tripod so that the camera and lens were positioned about chest high. I placed my body very close to the camera and did my best to block the wind from reaching the camera. Even so, it was evident that some of the exposures were ruined because of camera shake. But, my percentage of keepers was far higher. And, I took at least two pictures at a time to improve my chances of getting a sharp one.

Here are a couple of pictures from that photo shoot:

Badlands National ParkBadlands National ParkPanorama Point in Badlands National Park near Interior, South Dakota on October 28, 2015 Badlands National ParkBadlands National ParkPanorama Point in Badlands National Park near Interior, South Dakota on October 28, 2015


Comments

No comments posted.
Loading...

Archive
January (1) February (2) March (1) April May June July August September October November December