Rules? What rules?

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I rarely take a shot without some sort of camera support. Usually it’s a tripod but it could be a bean bag, log or rock. Normally I’m a staunch advocate for tripod use but sometimes you have to make exceptions.

Last weekend involved a trip to the Ruth Bancroft Botanical Garden in Walnut Creek, CA. Many gardens, museums and public aquariums have strict policies regarding tripod use. Those policies exist for a number of valid reasons ranging from preventing commercial photography to eliminated tripping hazards. A quick look at the garden’s website confirmed what I’d suspected: No tripods allowed. Armed with that information I prepared my kit for the day. Since I wasn’t going to be able to bring a tripod, I switched to my Canon 7D which is normally relegated to backup duty. The key feature I needed was it’s live view capability.

Many of my flower images require a very low camera position. If the camera is on a tripod I’m able to fit it with an angled viewfinder adapter and compose the shot normally. It’s a bit of a tedious process but the tripod allows me to compose, inspect and adjust the scene until it’s just right. Without a tripod that angled viewfinder is almost impossible to use effectively as I just don’t have enough hands. Using the live view capability of the 7D, I was able to compose this shot via the rear LCD screen even though the camera was extended down and away from me.

Apparently I was the only one who read the website as there was another gentleman there shooting, complete with his tripod, and none of the staff seemed the slightest bit interested. I also never saw him shoot in any position but standing upright so he might have been able to use his tripod, but he didn’t get this shot.


5 thoughts on “Rules? What rules?

  1. Doug… love this scene. The detail in the front poppy is wonderful, and your choice of DOF adds a lot to the context. Am a sucker for following the rules myself… if it says “Stay off the grass” I am staying off the grass. Doesn’t mean you can’t be creative and improvise as you have apparently been able to do here to great effect.


  2. Doug,

    If I remember correctly you use Lightroom, what do you use to put your copyright information on the picture?



  3. Hi Neville.

    I apply watermarks in a couple of different ways. For blog images there is a sharpening step that I add in Photoshop. While in PS, I add the watermark as a text layer, add a drop shadow and decrease the opacity of the text layer until it blends. Images on my gallery site get their watermark applied via Lightroom.



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