Brian Rueb sent us the following story chronicling his long exposure shots done on tripods. Thanks for sharing with our readers, Brian. Beautiful job!
Professionally, one of my most important pieces of equipment is my tripod. It took me several years before I started using a tripod for all my photography and it was one of the biggest ‘ah-ha’ moments I’ve had since becoming a photographer nearly twenty years ago. In those twenty years I’ve had more than my share of tripods. Early on, I never fully appreciated the importance of quality when it came to tripods, and subsequently went through more than my share of tripods. I tell a story of a tripod I broke before I ever got it out of the car to use. Over time, my trials have taught me the importance of a quality tripod. It is literally the foundation for all good landscape photography.
I recently conducted a workshop and shoot in the Columbia River Gorge of Oregon. This type of environment throws everything at you, and there is no better way to test the durability of a tripod. Water, mud, rugged terrain—this area has it all. I’m using an Induro Carbon Fiber 213 and BHD Ballhead. The first thing I appreciate when photographing in an environment like this is the weight. My whole tripod weights less than 5 pounds. When you’re walking mile upon mile up steep trails, and down slippery mossy rock slopes, the last thing you want is extra weight. Most new cameras weigh enough as it is.
The Induro tripods also come with durable foot pegs that work perfectly in extreme environments such as this. Whether in the mud, on slick rock surfaces, or in rare instances on flat ground, the tripod worked like a charm, and held firm. Most tripod pegs aren’t removable, and it’s a constant struggle to make sure you’re screwing out the pegs properly, and the pegs just don’t have a rugged feel to them. The Induro pegs are hearty, to be sure. One photographer in my group commented, “Looks like you could kill a bear with those things.” They’re tough and they work, although I haven’t had to use them on any bears yet.
My style of photography involves immersing myself and my gear in rivers, streams, and the ocean. The 213 worked great! Even when the current of the creek was racing, I had great stability for my camera. One instance that comes to mind was a long hike I made into a remote section of the Gorge where the best way to capture the image I had in mind was from in the middle of the creek. I spent roughly 45 minutes with the tripod in the water
I was very pleased with how well the legs continued to open and close even after being submerged. This doesn’t mean tripods still don’t need to be properly wiped and dried when the day is done, but it worked brilliantly through that morning, as well as the duration of the trip. For this trip I hiked over 20 miles and saw eleven different waterfalls, which required me getting in the water to photograph most of them.
I put my gear through a lot, and I really expect a lot out of it. The 213 performed at a high level throughout. A shoot like this puts a tripod through a tremendous amount of work. The last thing any photographer wants is to worry more about gear than creating images. My Induro never left me feeling let down, or worried when making my shots. I just hope I don’t run into any bears.
Brian Rueb is a professional landscape and wildlife photographer living in Northern California. When he is not in the field or spending time with his family, he teaches infield workshops with the Aperture Academy, and this summer will spend 65-days photographing the beauty of Iceland, where he will confidently put his Induro Tripod through extreme conditions of every kind, and, most likely, not have to kill a bear. You can follow his journey on Facebook throughout the summer.