leeport wrote in post #11249973
When you guys shoot models male or female, in the studio or on location do you use a tripod?
I see all these pros on location and in the studio working with models and none are using a tripod.
With strobes, doesnt the camera sync with them and stop the model? So why use a tripod?
Personally, I use a tripod (on location) or a camera stand (in the studio) whenever possible. Always have.
I began doing portraits with medium format TLRs and SLRs with waist-level viewfinders. Those cameras took wonderful pictures. A big advantage was that instead of "peerin' through a tiny 'ole," you looked at the picture on a nice-sized groundglass...kind of the forerunner of an LCD screen. So you saw the picture as a picture--all the elements in their framed, 2-D relationship--rather than being tunnel-visioned just to the subject.
The disadvantage of the TLR, though, was that you were looking down at the groundglass, so you didn't have direct face-toward-face contact with the subject. Also, the image was reversed left-to-right as in a mirror, which complicated aiming. All this made it very much worthwhile to put the camera on a tripod.
But putting the camera on a tripod had its own advantages. The first is that it gives you freedom to move, interact with the subject, and make changes to the scene without changing anything else (ask a golfer or a bowler if the ability to change one thing without changing anything else isn't important). I can pose a subject and then zip forward to move a lock of hair or straighten a hem and nothing else will have changed.
Putting the camera on a tripod gives me the opportunity to use Live View now, and that's even better than the TLR groundglass, yeah, boy. I love being able to truly see depth of field using the DoF preview, as well as the 10x digital loupe over any point of the scene.
Or, shooting a group--this is big--with the camera on a tripod or stand, I can take a series of photographs, concentrating each time on the "troublemakers" in the group, and then swap heads as necessary to put a good image of everyone into one composite image. On a tripod, this is easy as pie--handheld, it can be impossible.
Another really big application of the tripod is shooting animals and small children. I've learned that animals (particularly dogs) and small children depend very heavily on seeing your face to communicate. When your face is hidden behind a camera, you've lost at least half your ability to communicate with small children and dogs.
I put the camera on a stand or tripod with a moderate telephoto, focus on a mark at an aperture that gives me a couple of feet of depth of field, put the kid on that mark, and then move close to the kid just out of the view of the lens--often to within three or four feet. I use a remote release for the shutter.
This works amazingly well--you can't imagine how well it works until you try it. I didn't even realize how well it would work until I saw another photographer (nationally known for his commercial work with children) doing it. Interacting directly with the child from close range (the kind of interaction with adults children are accustomed to) actually rivets the child into place, fully commands her attention, and easily elicits exactly the kinds of responses the photographer wants.
In fact, every subject responds better when you get your face from behind the camera, and better subject response trumps leaping around like a jitterbug. Even shooting adults, I use much the same technique, and it works wonderfully. (As for the fashion professionals--remember that they're working with professional models who don't need all that much continuous interaction.)
Using a tripod also frees me from worrying about camera movement at all--and camera movement affects IQ more than many people realize. Probably most of "my lens is soft" complaints are really subtle camera movement--even with IS and even at relatively high shutter speeds. If you compare handheld and tripoded images at significant enlargements, you can see a difference even at 1/500.
About the only time I don't use a tripod is when it's really necessary for the subject to be moving to several positions...and that turns out to be less often than most people initially think.