Photography Classes in Tampa

Want to get your camera off of automatic? Come to digital photography classes in Tampa and learn what shutter speeds and apertures do. Photo 101, Photo 101 Boot Camp, intermediate and specialized classes are offered. You can also get private lessons with your camera or borrow a loaner! Most classes are held at central locations in Tampa. Here are 5 things to consider when selecting a photography class . Quit setting your camera on automatic! For more info see Tampa Photography Classes and Tampa Photography workshops tab at my web site. Let's get clickin'!

Also, please enjoy the information on this blog. There are tons of great tips on photography, techniques, setting you camera, and shooting different environments. Have a suggestion on a great blog you want me to write? Let me know! Please leave your feedback through comments on this blog!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Tripod Alternatives

There are times when a tripod won’t work.  Or, maybe you have a tight budget and a tripod is not in it.  Here are some great alternatives.
The best priced tripod alternatives are free.  Remember, the idea is to be able to stabilize your camera either when you are shooting with a slower shutter speed or when you want to be in the picture.  If you sew or you know someone who does, find a piece of old fabric and sew it into a 10" - 12" square.  Get some black eyed peas, some of those little beads that go in beanbag chairs, or even rice will work.  Fill your new “pillow” with the substance of choice and you have a beanbag tripod alternative. In a pinch even an old sock might work. It needs to be full enough so that it can support your camera but not jammed so tight that it has no “give”.  Make it  large enough so that it can support your entire rig, but small enough so that it fits in your camera bag.

A small bag or soft sided purse will work.  Go to your local consignment or secondhand store and find a small soft sided case or cosmetics bag.  This would easily tuck in your camera bag.  You can take it on location with you and once you get there you can easily fill it with small pebbles or sand.  Be careful!  If you’re using sand or some other small substance in your stabilizing bag make sure that you clean your hands and the outside of the bag before they get close to your camera.. If you get grit in your camera or lens it is going to be a bad day! 

When using your new contraption be sure that you set your camera down on a stable surface, or at least on one where you are positive that it will not move or fall!  If you can find a flat surface, sometimes all you need to do is put something under the lens to raise it or lower it enough to obtain your composition. A rolled up t-shirt or towel can be substituted.

Clamps are another way to go.  Instead of carrying a full tripod you can buy or make clamps that will screw into the bottom of your camera.  Most camera bodies accept a 1/4" diameter, 20 thread-count screw if you want to make a clamp. The beauty of these gizmos is that you can clamp them on nearly anything.  If you need your camera high or down low simply find a solid and stable anchor and clamp your camera to it.  Be sure that you do not exceed the weight capacity of the clamp.  Once you have it in place check and double check that your camera is secure before letting go.  Concrete is not friendly to cameras! Here is an example of the Manfrotto Super Clamp. They sell for under $40.

You will also need a pin to go with it to attach your camera

Lastly, the most common tripod alternative is a monopod.  You see sports shooters use them all the time.  They stabilize the camera allowing for a much slower shutter speed than you might otherwise be able to get hand holding.  The problem (obviously) is that you usually can't take your hands off of a monopod.  These devices are relatively inexpensive and can be found at local department stores including Wal-Mart and Target for under $30.

Having a way to stabilize our camera is important.  However, tripods don’t always work and sometimes aren't in the budget. One of these alternatives ought to work great!

Keep Hitting That Shutter Button!

For information on other Tampa photography classes, digital photography classes, and Tampa photography workshops feel free to call me or look under the Tampa Photography Classes section. I also give private individual lessons on camera operation and making better photographs and would love to work with you one on one to make you a better photographer. Photography instruction gift certificates are also available. They make great gifts for the photo enthusiast in your life. Let's talk about what you need! 813-786-7780. See you in class!

Chip Weiner is an award winning photojournalist and food photographer in Tampa. He has been a photography instructor for 10 years..