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The Gadget Bag: Tripods and Accessories

Lesson 71 from: Fundamentals of Photography 2016

John Greengo

The Gadget Bag: Tripods and Accessories

Lesson 71 from: Fundamentals of Photography 2016

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

71. The Gadget Bag: Tripods and Accessories

Lessons

Class Trailer
1

Class Introduction

17:26
2

Welcome to Photography

13:08
3

Camera Types Overview

02:00
4

Viewing Systems

28:43
5

Viewing Systems Q&A

08:45
6

Lens Systems

32:06
7

Shutter Systems

13:17
8

Shutter Speeds

10:47
9

Choosing a Shutter Speed

31:30
10

Shutter Speeds for Handholding

08:36
11

Shutter Speed Pop Quiz

09:06
12

Camera Settings

25:35
13

General Camera Q&A

14:38
14

Sensor Sizes: The Basics

15:33
15

Sensor Sizes: Compared

19:10
16

Pixels

20:13
17

ISO

21:13
18

Sensor Q&A

13:34
19

Focal Length: Overview

11:09
20

Focal Length: Angle of View

15:09
21

Wide Angle Lenses

08:48
22

Telephoto Lenses

25:23
23

Angle of View Q&A

09:29
24

Fish Eye Lenses

10:39
25

Tilt & Shift Lenses

23:42
26

Subject Zone

17:19
27

Lens Speed

09:56
28

Aperture Basics

08:46
29

Depth of Field

21:49
30

Aperture Pop Quiz

13:23
31

Lens Quality

18:30
32

Photo Equipment Life Cycle

03:57
33

Light Meter Basics

09:25
34

Histogram

15:25
35

Histogram Pop Quiz and Q&A

10:58
36

Dynamic Range

06:03
37

Exposure Modes

15:58
38

Manual Exposure

09:38
39

Sunny 16 Rule

05:54
40

Exposure Bracketing

10:18
41

Exposure Values

27:21
42

Exposure Pop Quiz

26:43
43

Focus Overview

16:15
44

Focusing Systems

05:15
45

Autofocus Controls

11:56
46

Focus Points

07:35
47

Autofocusing on Subjects

20:19
48

Manual Focus

07:52
49

Digital Focusing Assistance

03:40
50

Focus Options: DSLR and Mirrorless

04:58
51

Shutter Speeds for Sharpness and DoF

05:20
52

Depth of Field Pop Quiz

12:14
53

Depth of Field Camera Features

04:54
54

Lens Sharpness

09:58
55

Camera Movement

05:20
56

Handheld and Tripod Focusing

04:32
57

Advanced Techniques

07:12
58

Hyperfocal Distance

06:50
59

Hyperfocal Quiz and Focusing Formula

04:36
60

Micro adjust and AF Fine Tune

05:34
61

Focus Stacking and Post Sharpening

06:00
62

Focus Problem Pop Quiz

18:07
63

The Gadget Bag: Camera Accessories

25:30
64

The Gadget Bag: Lens Accessories

12:46
65

The Gadget Bag: Neutral Density Filter

20:43
66

The Gadget Bag: Lens Hood and Teleconverters

08:55
67

The Gadget Bag: Lens Adapters

05:43
68

The Gadget Bag: Lens Cleaning Supplies

04:34
69

The Gadget Bag: Macro Lenses and Accessories

15:57
70

The Gadget Bag: Flash and Lighting

05:08
71

The Gadget Bag: Tripods and Accessories

18:50
72

The Gadget Bag: Custom Cases

11:20
73

10 Thoughts on Being a Photographer

07:37
74

Direct Sunlight

25:04
75

Indirect Sunlight

18:49
76

Sunrise and Sunset

18:39
77

Cloud Light

14:48
78

Golden Hour

09:50
79

Light Pop Quiz

07:53
80

Light Management

14:00
81

Artificial Light

13:56
82

Speedlights

16:02
83

Off-Camera Flash

27:38
84

Advanced Flash Techniques

09:49
85

Editing Overview

08:24
86

Editing Set-up

08:06
87

Importing Images

16:45
88

Best Use of Files and Folders

20:54
89

Culling

20:56
90

Develop: Fixing in Lightroom

18:13
91

Develop: Treating Your Images

10:53
92

Develop: Optimizing in Lightroom

14:51
93

Art of Editing Q&A

06:01
94

Composition Overview

06:53
95

Photographic Intrusions

10:10
96

Mystery and Working the Scene

16:18
97

Point of View

09:11
98

Better Backgrounds

16:02
99

Unique Perspective

11:02
100

Angle of View

15:06
101

Subject Placement

41:14
102

Subject Placement Q&A

05:18
103

Panorama

07:39
104

Multishot Techniques

13:57
105

Timelapse

16:13
106

Human Vision vs The Camera

20:07
107

Visual Perception

08:35
108

Visual Balance Test

22:56
109

Visual Drama

12:25
110

Elements of Design

28:57
111

The Photographic Process

12:28
112

Working the Shot

27:38
113

The Moment

04:42
114

One Hour Photo - Colby Brown

1:04:32
115

One Hour Photo - John Keatley

1:03:05
116

One Hour Photo - Art Wolfe

59:01
117

One Hour Photo - Rocco Ancora

1:01:20
118

One Hour Photo - Mike Hagen

1:01:20
119

One Hour Photo - Lisa Carney

1:00:52
120

One Hour Photo - Ian Shive

1:08:00
121

One Hour Photo - Sandra Coan

1:10:29
122

One Hour Photo - Daniel Gregory

1:06:07
123

One Hour Photo - Scott Robert Lim

1:05:41

Lesson Info

The Gadget Bag: Tripods and Accessories

One of your least favorite topics and one of my most favorite topics, tripods. Alright, so we mentioned this before, but I'll say it again 'cause it's worth saying, "Is that there is a lot of different shutter speeds "that you can choose in your camera. "And those fast ones are great for a lot of hand held, 'high speed action shots. "But if you want to take advantage "of all your shutter speeds you're gonna need a tripod "so that you can mount that camera on it "and use a slow shutter speed "of one second or 30 seconds "or whatever the case is necessary "cause that opens up a whole world of photography." Now things that I value in a tripod is the ability to be as tall as possible so that I can get wherever I can physically get and have that tripod there. That photo on the left, that tripod is bigger than I am, alright? It's taller than I am so I can get in that exact position so that I don't have some sort of obstruction that's blocking my composition. I also like a tripod that gets ve...

ry low down to the ground. You have seen lots of photographs of mine where I am very low to the ground. And there are some tripods that have center posts that don't allow you to get down to the ground or they have brace supports that you can't take off that only get down so far. So getting something that gets low to the ground can be very beneficial 'cause that low angle of view can be very, very interesting. Like in this shot here, the camera is about four inches off the ground. You need a very, very flexible tripod to get down that low to the ground. One of the main rules, is don't use the center post unless you absolutely have to. This is an unsteady way to use your camera. This is often used because most people don't want to buy a tripod, so they end up buying the smallest tripod they can find, which is not tall enough for them to use so they have to use the center post. And I see this all the time and it's a cause of a lot of blurry problems because that camera doesn't have much stability there up on the top of that little post. And if you remember back to the previous section, Mirror Lockup, that little mirror is gonna cause more vibration in that type of setup than a standard tripod. Seattle has a really nice viewpoint over in the South end of town. And from this point of view I like the view but I didn't like the fact that there was a number of trees blocking the freeway. And I saw that if I could move to a different position, I would be able to avoid those trees. But I needed to shoot over a 6 foot fence in order to do it. And so with my very tallest tripod and a little ladder, I was able to get down to a position where I did not have those trees as a problem. And once I got into that position I realized that, well not only could I shoot this picture with less obstructions in front of the freeway, but that kinda opened up a whole set of new possibilities, simply because I was able to get the camera in a new point of view. And then I start lookin' around and like, "Oh I can do this as well!" And these shots would not be possible from the other position because there was too many trees and obstructions in that particular area. And so when we talk about point of view in the Composition Section, it's something I value greatly. When I get to a scene I'm checkin' all over. Where can I get my camera to? Either me physically or where can I mount the camera when it's on a tripod for instance. And so having a tall tripod can be very, very helpful. The two brands of tripods that I have used, that I can highly endorse, is Manfrotto and Gitzo. These are tripods that are well made and they often have interchangeable parts so that if you break something on that tripod you could possibly order a replacement part so that you don't have to throw the entire tripod away. Most of the manufacturers for tripods out there make a system that if something breaks you just throw the whole thing away, and just go out buy something new. And so these are well made, they don't tend to break down, but you can also take them apart and clean them pretty well along with that. Now these aren't the only good tripods out there, there's some others, very nice tripods. These are just two that I've used that I've been very, very happy with. The Manfrottos are kind of good, basic, hard working ones. They're not quite as slick and as smooth as the Gitzo's. The Gitzo's are my favorite. They're very fast and easy to open and close. They're very light weight 'cause they usually come in carbon fiber. But that carbon fiber does mean they cost more money. Just in case you're wondering, my favorite tripod is something called the Gitzo GT2543L. You see some stats there. I'm gonna go over here and grab it right now. And so this is what I would call a medium-sized tripod. And one of the neat things about this particular one right here is that, one of the things I said is I don't like a center post because I can't get down low to the ground. And they've in the past had center posts that you can take on and off, but none (quick releasing post) have been as easy as just turning a switch and being able to lower it. Now (clicking tripod) if I want to get down to the ground, get these out here like this, (clicking tripod) and now I'm down on the ground. And so nice and low. And this is what I think is about a perfect sized tripod. (clicking tripod) And so we also have a very nice system where I can grab all the legs at one time and go straight out. And so you want a tripod that's quick and easy to work with 'cause if you don't like workin' with it you're not gonna use it. (clicking tripod) And so my definition of a perfect sized tripod is a tripod that is a little taller than you are. And that's because in the real world, you're not always standing on a perfectly flat surface. There's sometimes a stair, a step, or hill, somethin' sliding down. Imagine if I'm trying to shoot straight up. I have to get way down. Something I have become less tolerant of as I've gotten older is stooping over to look through a camera. I just don't like it. My smallest tripod is this guy. And this is a little traveler tripod and well I'm gonna show you this other little trick here. (clicking tripod) So there's a number of these travel tripods that allow you to flip the legs in the reverse position and this is really nice because now I can pack this in an overhead carry-on-bag. I've been able to put this in a backpack and walk into a location that may not normally allow tripods, because I was able to get it so small. And so Gitzo started this, but it's been copied by a number of other manufacturers. And while I like this one, I think there are other tripods out there that might be a better value. (clicking tripod) But once again able to grab all, flip out, open up, and this is now the smallest tripod that I'm willing to work with. I've had it with those three foot and four foot tripods. It gets tiring looking through things like that. And so this is what I'm taking or I'm not taking a tripod with me. So this is the one I like to travel with. If I didn't know what I was gonna do, I would probably go grab this one just 'cause this is just, it fits most of my equipment really well. But if I have a big piece of equipment, like a big telephoto lens, or I'm in a tricky situation, then I gotta grab the big guy. Now this one takes a little extra because it's a little on the tall side. (clicking tripod) Now obviously I'm gonna have a hard time pointing my camera. I'm gonna just do this in here. I'm gonna have a hard time looking through my camera on this, and so I went down to the hardware store and I purchased a two foot step ladder that is kinda the matching companion to this that I can step up and get up there to. But I have had areas in rock canyons where you're just kind of standing on rocks and you need to get those legs to come down. And whenever I wanna get a really nice photo I always just kinda come here and just concentrate for a little bit. If you've ever, remember working under the pyramids. And so this is a nice tripod but this is really not what most people need. I mean this is when you're totally hardcore and you need as much help as possible. And so maybe we can have some help taking those off. And so what would I recommend? Get something that you're happy with. Probably, you can start something like this. It's probably fine. It's gonna be perfectly good. If you know you're pretty serious and you got yourself a little bit bigger lens, maybe like a 70 to 202.8, maybe you need a little somethin' like that. And this is where being less tall has a major benefit. Being tall is just so terrible. I'm glad I'm not tall I would need even taller tripods. (audience laughs) And so. Let's go ahead and we can take these outta here. So on top of the tripods we have different types of heads. And there's all sorts of different types of heads depending on what you're gonna do. We have video heads, three-way-pan-tilt heads. I think for most people, under general purposes, they're probably gonna be happiest with just a simple ball head. It's gonna have one knob that's gonna loosen up everything and then tighten it. This is what a lotta photographers use. It's relatively small. It's quick and easy to work with. Two of the favorite ball heads for a lot of photographers out there are Kirk and Really Right Stuff. And these are just really well machined, nice products. They're not necessarily cheap, but you don't need to replace these things very often. They take a lickin' and they keep on workin' out really well. And so these are some of the best ones out on the market. Now one of the things that you'll notice is that there is no place to screw on to the bottom of the camera. These use a plate system, okay? And so they're gonna use a small camera plate onto the camera. So let's talk about this Quick Release Plate system. So they have different plates that fit on all the different cameras. You can get generic plates or you can get ones that are custom designed for a particular camera. And so you'll mount these on the bottom of the camera or you'll mount them on the lens if the lens has a tripod mount. Now these slide in and this is called an Arca-Swiss plate system. It's about as close to a standard as we have in photography when it comes to tripods. And so it has a particular width and a particular little dovetail to it and you can just slide it straight in. And it's a very simple system and it's being used by a lot of the manufacturers. Unfortunately, it is not being used by Manfrotto and Gitzo, the tripod manufacturers that I just talked about. So there's a lotta people that ended up with those as their legs but another company has the heads. And so you can mix and match heads and legs according to your own needs. And so then you will just simply mount these on the body and on the lens collars if you have them. And so this for instance is a bad position. Here's one of my great slides folks. See how that's dipping? This is what happens when you have your camera high up on a center post and you have too much weight out in front. The center of balance is not over the tripod. And so what we wanna do in this case is we want to balance the weight properly and this is something you can do if you have a tripod collar for your lens to help center the weight. This is something that you're typically gonna find on telephoto lenses. And this is a much more stable position than it would be out in front. The one where it's sticking way out in front you need a really strong tripod head to hold that in position. Now these tripod collars on the telephoto lenses have another benefit. Not only is it center of gravity in a better place, but when you rotate the camera for shooting vertical, the lens stays in exactly the same place. You don't need to reposition the camera and get a new height for everything. I've had several cases where I want to move to a vertical but then I gotta readjust everything on the tripod. Which is a pain in the butt, alright? And so now we are keeping the lens straight above the center column. But there are many lenses that you do not have a tripod collar. For instance, a 50 and a 35 and a 24 mm lens, and all the wide angles, they don't have a tripod collar, so you're forced into tipping the camera over. And I've had to spend a coupla minutes repositioning the camera so that everything's composed the way it's supposed to be. So if you have wide angle lenses that you're going to be using in a vertical format, the solution is something called an L-bracket. I'll be honest, I have no idea why they call it an L-bracket, but they just do. And so the L-bracket goes on the camera, and it allows you to slide the camera in for shooting horizontals and then when you wanna shoot a vertical you simply slide it out, turn it 90 degrees, and shoot your vertical, and now you have your lens straight above the center column and everything is very well balanced and that optical center of the lens is right above the center post of the lens. Now this does add a little bit of weight and a little bit of size, it's a little bit of a roll cage too, for protection, but it does add a little bit of size to it. And I have one for my camera right over here. And you can see that's the kind of big old handle. Sometimes I use that as a handle for grabbing onto the camera, and so now I can mount that on my tripod. And I got this when I got my tilt-shift lens 'cause I knew that I would be shooting a lot of verticals with my tilt-shift lens. And so it keeps the camera in a more stable position, rather than dipping it off to the side, 'cause that is gonna cause a lot more torquing on the tripod. And it's something that, to be honest with you, I take it off when I do a lotta travel photography and I know I'm not using a tripod. And I really prize having the smallest camera possible that fits in the smallest camera bag possible. And so it's something that can come on and off relatively quickly. Another handy device when using a tripod is a Level System. So in the past we've used these bubble levels which can plug in to the top of our hot shoe. But now a lot of cameras, especially the MIRIS, especially the ones with electronic view finders will have some sort of in-camera level system which will tell you, and it depends on the camera, it'll tell you whether you're tilting the camera left or right. But some of 'em will also tell you if you're pitching forward or pitching backwards. And so it can show you right in there, where your camera is pointed at and how perfect or imperfect it is. And so another nice tool for working on tripods especially when we get to talking about panorama stitching, which we will do in a later section. Lotta people wonder about monopods, and they often over estimate what a monopod will do. That's usually the biggest mistake. And so, the main thing about monopods is they support heavy equipment. And the perfect place to use a monopod, two scenarios. Shooting a football game with a big heavy 600 millimeter lens and you're waiting around and you're standing there for 3 hours with a 15 pound lens. That's a perfect place for using a monopod because you might have to get out of the way really quickly. Another good place is if you're gonna go whale watching and you're on a boat that's kind of movin' up and down and you wanna have your lens pointed in the right direction for that time when that whale comes jumpin' outta the water. It doesn't work in lieu of a tripod. It is not one-third as good as a tripod, even though it's one-third the device, it's not one third as good as a tripod. It helps steady the camera but it doesn't complete it, stop it's motion. I wanted to do my own test. How well can I hand hold the camera vs using a monopod to get stable shots? And I found that I could shoot sharp photos at 1/60 of a second, and then as we talked about before, I had a couple where maybe I would get sharp pictures. Using a monopod, it extended my range of maybe getting a shot. And so it's kind of like image stabilization. And you could add stabilization on top of that. And I thought, "Well how does this compare to a tripod?" And so I had to do the test on how good is it with a tripod. Well of course a tripod's gonna be sharp everywhere if you use it that way. And so if you really are needing sharp photos at slower shutter speeds, you wanna use a tripod. If you have heavy equipment or your maybe, and I've seen cases where you're trying to reach up higher and shoot something, it can be helpful for that. But it's mostly if you have one of those, one big 200 to 400, 150 to 600, 300 millimeter lenses and you're working with that. It's gonna help save your shoulders and arms from carrying that around the whole time and having it ready to shoot. When using your tripod, I often find it best to take your camera, set your tripod aside, take your camera out, walk around, figure out where you need to be in order to take the shot, and then usually what I do is I figure out, "Oh okay, this is the right position right here." And then I'll just kinda look on the ground, "Okay it's that little thing there "I need to come back to." I go get my tripod and where's my little thing? There it is right there, and that's where I set up my tripod. 'Cause if you set your tripod up, get all the legs perfectly tightened up and you realize, "Whoop, I need to lower everything by 6 inches." Choo-choo-choo-choo-choo! Have in your mind what you are trying to do with that particular composition. First. You may want to extend the lower section first if you're out working in a wilderness environment, whether it's grass or mud or water. That way you don't want to get all that gunk up in those joints where the locks are for the legs. Give yourself about 6 inches of work room down there at the bottom. Try not to use the center post unless it's absolutely necessary. That is a last ditch emergency need. Make sure that you fully lock the legs. I know some people kind of forget to get 'em all the way and then all of a sudden their tripod starts doin' the little droopy thing. Don't want to be doin' that. And don't forget to turn your stabilization off, especially for the Nikon and Canon users, it's probably most important for them. Settle the legs. I'd mentioned this before. Getting the legs and really kind of workin' them in to the dirt or the sand or whatever they happen to be. You wanna make sure that's it's really down on the solid ground right there. And then what else have we got? Block the wind. So if the wind is blowing really heavy, use your own body to block the camera from getting buffeted from any wind. Because that wind is just gonna cause a vibration and might cause a blurriness in the photos. And then stand still during exposure. The ground you are standing on is probably connected to the ground that the tripod is on. And so if you're like, "Ooh it's so cold!" And you're jumpin' up and down by the tripod, that's probably moving the tripod back and forth if you're on any sort of dirt-type ground. And so just don't be movin' around a lot. Also just your body movement can be pushing air back and forth. And so there's a lotta things that can go in to causing a little bit of blurriness when using a tripod.

Class Materials

Free Download

Fundamentals of Photography Outline

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Learning Project Videos
Learning Projects PDF
Slides for The Camera Lessons 1-13
Slides for The Sensor Lessons 14-18
Slides for The Lens Lessons 19-31
Slides for The Exposure Lessons 32-42
Slides for Focus Lessons 43-62
Slides for The Gadget Bag Lessons 63-72
Slides for Light Lesson 73-84
Slides for the Art of Edit Lessons 85-93
Slides for Composition Lesson 94-105
Slides for Photographic Vision Lessons 106-113

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student
 

Love love all John Greengo classes! Wish to have had him decades ago with this info, but no internet then!! John is the greatest photography teacher I have seen out there, and I watch a lot of Creative Live classes and folks on YouTube too. John is so detailed and there are a ton of ah ha moments for me and I know lots of others. I think I own 4 John Greengo classes so far and want to add this one and Travel Photography!! I just drop everything to watch John on Creative Live. I wish sometime soon he would teach a Lightroom class and his knowledge on photography post editing.!!! That would probably take a LOT OF TIME but I know John would explain it soooooo good, like he does all his Photography classes!! Thank you Creative Live for having such a wonderful instructor with John Greengo!! Make more classes John, for just love them and soak it up! There is soooo much to learn and sometimes just so overwhelming. Is there anyway you might do a Motivation class!!?? Like do this button for this day, and try this technique for a week, or post this subject for this week, etc. Motivation and inspiration, and playing around with what you teach, needed so much and would be so fun.!! Just saying??? Awaiting gadgets class now, while waiting for lunch break to be over. All the filters and gadgets, oh my. Thank you thank you for all you teach John, You are truly a wonderful wonderful instructor and I would highly recommend folks listening and buying your classes.

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I don't think that adjectives like beautiful, fantastic or excellent can describe the course and classes with John Greengo well enough. I've just bought my first camera and I am a total amateur but I fell in love with photography while watching the classes with John. It is fun, clear, understandable, entertaining, informative and and and. He is not only a fabulous photographer but a great teacher as well. Easy to follow, clear explanations and fantastic visuals. The only disadvantage I can list here that he is sooooo good that keeps me from going out to shoot as I am just glued to the screen. :-) Don't miss it and well worth the money invested! Thank you John!

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Wow! John is THE best teacher I have ever had the pleasure of learning from, and this is the most comprehensive, eloquent and fun course I have ever taken (online or off). If you're even / / interested in photography, take this course as soon as possible! You might find out that taking great photos requires much more work than you're willing to invest, or you might get so excited learning from John that you'll start taking your camera with you EVERYWHERE. At the very least, you'll learn the fundamental inner workings and techniques that WILL help you get a better photo. Worried about the cost? Well, I've taken courses that are twice as expensive that offer less than maybe a tenth of the value. You'll be much better off investing in this course than a new camera or a new lens. I cannot reccomend John and this course enough!

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