The Three Legged Beast

When I'm packing for a trip, there's always that one item that just won't fit in my suitcase. Most of the time, it's a tripod.  

By definition, tripods are leggy, awkward beasts that weigh as much as everything else combined. I'm not talking about a mini tripod. The object of my perplexity is the standalone, full size, big headed set of sticks.  

If I could get by all the time with just my Joby Gorillapod Micro 250, I would. The problem  with micropods is that they're not tall enough. So you need something like a big rock or a fence post. And those are heavier than a tripod.

So why do I even worry about this? Well sometimes I don't. Actually, often I don't. Most days I say to myself, "Screw it, I'm heading out with my nimble shoulder bag, and that's all."  And I usually get pretty nice shots.

Then there are those rare occasions, darn it, where I need a full size tripod:  

  • Extreme depth of field for landscape
  • Slow water shots
  • HDR photography
  • Timelapse
  • Stars
  • And other stuff I can't even remember right now.

So what do I do? Well, I get the lightest, sturdiest, most compact full size tripod I can afford, and I put it in the trunk of the car or my suitcase. There's still no guarantee that it will make it in the field with me. But at least the beast is within reach if I really have to have it. 

Darn it.