Algonquin landscapes – Lessons learned

One of the wonderful things about taking a workshop is you will learn so much more than what you already know. Doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or emerging professional there are lessons to be learned. For example, on last weekend’s fabulous Algonquin fall leaves adventure, pro outdoors photographer Ethan Meleg taught me a few things I didn’t know about landscapes. 00201_gitzo_6x_tripod

First lesson learned was to always – and I mean always – use a tripod. Landscape photography often requires long shutter speeds because the aperture of the lens is closed down (f/16 or so) to produce as much depth of field (in other words getting everything from the foreground to the background in focus) as possible. Ethan said that there are two ways to buy a tripod. The first is to go and purchase a relatively inexpensive tripod ($200) and use that for a few years. And then as you add heavier cameras and lenses finding out you need a heavier tripod ($500) to keep everything steady. Of course then there’s the tripod for travel which has to be carbon fibre ($600++) to keep it light. And soon you’ve got a closet full of tripods. I’ve got three and two monopods.

Or there is the fast (but painful) way of buying a tripod and that’s to shell out $1,000 or so for the tripod and $500 for the heavy-duty ball-head assembly. Now you’ve got one tripod that will last you forever and you’ve paid out half of what it will cost by starting cheap. Wish I had known this before I bought my first $200 Gitzo.

BTW the Algonquin photography workshop was sponsored by Outdoor Photography Canada magazine and you should all get your own subscription. The images are wonderful. The photographers are terrific shooters. And the editorial contest is first-class. Best of it’s Canadian.

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