Wheels to Go

January 23, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

Wheels to Go (Tripods and Dolly's)

Tripods in general are hit and miss. Some photographers use them, some do not. They are almost a necessity for things such as long exposures, some composites, and cases where the photographer has to assist the talent in real time during an exposure. They can also be somewhat restricting during action shots and can limit the movement of the camera even get into the way during something as simple as a fashion shoot. Tripods can become unstable, especially out doors.

Despite some shortcomings, some photographers swear by tripods. One can reproduce the framing of an image shot by shot by keeping the camera level and in a stationary position. This can be particularly valuable if you want the same image, yet may only be adjusting exposure. They are almost essential for panorama landscape that involve multiple images being pieced together in post processing. If one uses a long lens, a tripod can be a great asset in stabilizing the lens.

When combing images such as with a composite, the camera position needs to be stationary or a great deal of extra work is required during the editing process, which incredibly slows down workflow.

So if you use a tripod effectively, one can still run into problems, Lifting the tripod from position to position, and there is the ever present risk of you or someone else kicking it, sending your precious camera crashing down to the floor. Tripod dolly's are often a good addition or accessory to you arsenal. A quality dolly can easily add stability to your tripod making it a valuable asset. Rolling the tripod on a dolly reduces the need to pick up and sit down something that is necessarily top heavy, particularly with a longer lens. The legs are typically locked into place inside the dolly, so one does not have to worry about one leg suddenly becoming loose at the tripod is replanted. 

For those who combine videography with stills, a dolly can be particularly valuable in getting smooth shots if you happen to be moving around a subject. When paired with a portable gimbal, the overall final product will often be improved.

Some things to look for in a dolly:

  • Larger wheels (3 inch) with wheel locks
  • Solid construction
  • Extendable legs that will adjust for a wider tripod base
  • Foldable for transportation

 

While a tripod or dolly is not essential, it certainly does have a place in the well equipped photographer.


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