Tag Archives: Brian Rueb

Brian Rueb’s Trip to Europe

Brian Rueb - Manarola at Dusk

Manarola at Dusk © 2012 Brian Rueb

Landscape photographer and Induro blog veteran Brian Rueb just got back from a trip to Germany and Italy and has some more fantastic shots to share. For his delicate landscape work, he depends on his Induro tripod. Here are his thoughts on tripod use.

When I began using a tripod for my photography, it was reluctantly so. I had been hand-holding everything for so long the thought of attaching my camera to a long piece of heavy, awkward, metal legs felt scary. I was sure it would stifle my creativity and present more of a hindrance than a help. When my primary photographic focus fell to the world of landscape photography, I quickly deduced having a tripod was, at best, very necessary to being successful and, at worst, an absolute requirement. With that realization in place, I did what most photographers do — I dished out as little financial resources as possible to procure the cheapest tripod I could find.

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Brian Rueb’s Five Photography Tips

We’ve been fans of Brian Rueb’s stunning landscape photography for some time now, and are very excited he’s made the following contribution to our ongoing Five Photography Tips series. We previously featured him here and here. What follows is Brian’s text and a small sample of his gorgeous work. See the links at the end of the piece to see more.

I often get asked my advice on what someone seeking to become a better photographer should do in order to achieve their goal. I think everyone, whether professional or not, is always seeking tips and ideas to help them get better. Rather than give some of the typical answers I read in various advice pieces in magazines and online I’m going to give you five different steps to becoming a better landscape photographer.

STEP 1 – Bust out of your comfort zone.

We all have different levels of “comfortable” when we’re out with the camera, no matter what subject we focus on. For me, it was always easier to stay close to the road, and off the unknown trails, and most importantly, out of the dark. If getting a shot required me hiking somewhere in the dark in order to be there for the good light, it wasn’t happening. My mind is an active place where every dark turn sees me mauled to bits by a bear or mountain lion. I couldn’t ever see a scenario where I ventured out into the darkness just to take photos. Obviously if that mentality persisted, I wouldn’t have a portfolio, and would probably be photographing weddings or senior portraits.

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Brian Rueb on Induro in Iceland

Brian Rueb is a professional landscape and wildlife photographer living in California. He teaches over 45 outdoor workshops a year with the Aperture Academy, and is working towards completing a book documenting his trek to Iceland, where he recently took an Induro CT213 tripod and an Induro BHD2 ballhead. What follows is his summary of the trip in his own words.

Iceland is a land of extremes. It’s one of the toughest places I’ve ever photographed. I knew from the get go it would be a test for my gear. Uneven surfaces, extreme wind, and driving rains: this place has it all. In addition to the weather, Iceland also has some of the most amazing landscapes on the planet—a real playground for photographers, like me, who find this type of work enjoyable. This project wasn’t just a week or ten days. It was 67 days of hiking and photography. With Iceland’s high latitude, the sun never really sets during much of the summer and that means the good light for photographing (sunrise and sunset) can last up to 5 or 6 hours.

©Brian Rueb

©Brian Rueb

Not only was this experience going to be a test for me mentally and physically—it was going to be a test for my gear as well, and especially my tripod: an Induro CT213 and BHD2 ballhead.

Before I left I remember thinking, “If a tripod breaks on this trip, the trip is a waste. I won’t be able to photograph anything the way I need to.” I had to have a tripod that would make the cut, and I felt good about the Induro going in. Really good.

The first thing I love about this tripod is the weight: just over four pounds with the ballhead. During the course of my trip, I walked close to 450 miles—most of it hiking to and from a shooting location. Just my camera gear weighs close to 18 pounds, and combined with all the gear I need to camp, my bag weighs close to 50 pounds. Not a whole heck of a lot of fun to lug around. A tripod is an absolute necessity for me. Having one that doesn’t weigh a ton is so nice.

©Brian Rueb

©Brian Rueb

While the overall weight of the tripod is nice, the thing about it that makes it so special is the stability. I had this tripod submerged in fast moving rivers. I had it balanced precariously on the edges of crazy cliffs. I set it up in 20-30mph winds. I put my 100-400mm lens on it for close up shots.I even put my 100-400mm lens on it in 20-30mph winds.

It works really well.

It always functioned as I wanted it to.

It always opened and closed easily, even after being submerged in rivers, sea, and muck. I wish I functioned as well after being submerged in muck.

©Brian Rueb

©Brian Rueb

I’ve been doing this photography thing a long time, and have used and destroyed every kind of tripod imaginable. This tripod has been through the roughest spots I’ve seen, and performed at a high level throughout. Whether strapped to my backpack on a 30 mile hike, being shuffled around from bus to bus by uncaring bus drivers, getting slammed quickly into a car I managed to hitch a ride with, or set up for actual photography. I put this tripod through a huge workout. It came through like a champ.

namaskard

©Brian Rueb

I even used it on a few occasions for protection from bird attack. The Arctic Tern migrates en masse to Iceland every summer to nest, feed and raise young. It is one of the most fiercely protective birds I’ve ever encountered. If you should wander too closely to their nesting grounds it’s an attack reminiscent of the worst scenes in Hitchcock’s The Birds thankfully there is a fault in their attacks, and they will always go for the highest point. When I walked through particularly tern-heavy areas, I used my Induro as a defensive pole over my head to ward off their attack.

Here’s four of my favorite shots from this trip to show the diverse and beautiful landscape I was fortunate enough to spend my summer exploring and photographing.

Brian Rueb Photography
Brian Rueb on Facebook
The Aperture Academy

Brian Rueb in Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge

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.

©Brian Rueb

©Brian Rueb

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.

©Brian Rueb

©Brian Rueb

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.

©Brian Rueb

©Brian Rueb

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

©Brian Rueb

©Brian Rueb

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.

©Brian Rueb

©Brian Rueb

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.