Friday, February 27, 2015

Speaking of essentials

I know, I just finished bragging about how little I need. But once in a while I get too caught up in simplifying and end up ridding myself of something I would later need. Like a tripod.

A few months ago I tossed the tripod I'd had for about 25 years. I had used it only once during the eighteen months I'd been van dwelling, I couldn't find a suitable place to stow it and, despite my repairs, the head had become wobbly. Into the dumpster it went.

Since then, I've wanted to take star photos, which requires a tripod. Rats. So I went shopping for a new one. One that was more compact, but not too short. I also wanted clip latches on the legs rather than needing to turn the legs to adjust their length.

I found this Slick 340 Pro-BH. It folds to about 19 inches and stands just shy of 58 inches. The legs can angle out almost flat for extra stability. And the ball-and-socket head is simpler to use than separate tilt and pan controls.

I also got a digital shutter controller that makes it easy to do the long exposures necessary to photograph stars. It can also do a timed sequence of shots. How long will my exposure need to be with this lens and camera settings? Twenty minutes? Twenty-six? Thirty-two? I can set the timer to take several different length shots while I'm comfortably in bed. Because sweet, delicious sleep is absolutely essential.

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