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A tale about a tripod

I met a new favorite piece of photography equipment last year and
I will never forget the day it arrived and I first picked it up and held it in my hands.

Okay... actually, I stared at it for a good 10 seconds before reaching out and grabbing it ;)
because I was a little nervous
but once I picked it up, it was love.

I am talking about my camera- a Canon 6d.
After 5 minutes of oohing and ahhing and putting the lens on and all the protective pieces like the lens filter and hood,
and wrapping it securely in bubble wrap before deciding to use it ;) (jk)
I twisted on that little tripod plate that holds it onto the tripod on and
 set my camera on and started to snap a few photos.

I played with the settings and I remember one of the first things I took a photo of with this camera was the New Years Eve table setting.
It was so crisp. It was so true to color. It was amazing.

We bonded,  my 6d and I
and after learning more about how each of us liked to work,
we got along wonderfully and would travel from room to room and to the great outdoors
 to work together on a few photos of table settings or the hammock.

  I would set my new friend on my trusty old tripod and secure it tightly
 and then lean over to look through the view finder at whatever we were shooting.
That was when the incident happened.

 As often happens when shooting- something in the shot has to be adjusted. Like 5 or 50 times.
Maybe an apple is blocking a glass or the flowers need some fluffing
or there is something in the background that is taking away from the view.

So, I started to step away from the camera to fix what was bugging me and when I did that...
my trusty tripod attempted to murder my camera.

I saw it out of the corner of my eye in slow motion...ever so slightly,
 it leaned to the side and started to fall.
 Thankfully, I reached out and grabbed my camera strap
 just in time before the whole thing hit the gravel.
I blamed myself. Must not have had it set right, etc. 
But when it happened again on a level indoor floor-
I was getting suspicious.

The tripod had always been trustworthy. 
It had always held my camera and been the support it needed. 
But when the new heavier camera came into the picture- well..
it wasn't going to be pretty if this relationship continued.

I knew that the two were not a perfect pairing.
So, we went our separate ways.  
I gave the tripod to my son to use with his smaller camera for filming his fitness videos
and the search for a more 'manly' sized tripod to hold my very heavy
 camera began.

Recently I shared on instagram that I had gotten some new equipment for photography
and so many of you emailed and asked me for details about what would I recommend.

So a couple mini posts all about photography coming your way in the next few weeks.
Yes, I know this isn't a decorating post... and I promise it will be all decorating for the next one
but quite honestly, I wouldn't be able to really write this blog without the photos 
and without the photography equipment behind them.

So...that said- 
Enter my new camera's new bff
this Manfrotto tripod.
(affiliate link) 

He's big and bulky and built on legs that are 3x thicker than the average bear.
When it arrived, I picked up the box and almost dropped it.
I was not prepared for how heavy this tripod would be.

Though we have only recently met- we are getting along just fine
and I use a tripod all the time so it is definitely something that I consider an important piece
of equipment.

Here are 3 things I think are things to think aboutwhen shopping for your own.

#1. Don't skimp on the support

The tripod I had before was a well known brand and it was around $125-150 brand new- so not inexpensive- and it had great features. It had a ball head, telescoped up to 6 1/2'  and even dropped super low to the ground- I loved using it.  With my Canon Rebel.

With my bigger, heavier camera- it never felt fully steady when the legs were all the way up-
 and I got used to holding onto the camera strap while trying to adjust or taking the camera off the tripod every few minutes just so I didn't worry about it falling over. 
Let's just say that got old real fast.
 When I upgraded my camera, I should have upgraded my tripod to match it. 
It needed more support.

#2. A perfect fit

The plate that attaches your camera to the tripod needs to be a good fit for the size
and weight of your camera as well. 

via manfrotto 
A small plate that you tighten up works great if it stays tight and stays attached to the tripod when you place it on.
Let's just say that on my old tripod I had to tighten the plate over and over
since it didn't stay tight mainly because again -my camera is heavy. So the lens would ever so slightly start to pull the camera down a bit. Aggravating to say the least- and it wasn't a good fit.

Another feature to look for is a security latch that makes sure the quick release is actually closed
and your camera is actually fully and securely attached to the tripod.

If you have ever had a camera start to fall off just a bit into your hand as you moved it on the tripod- you will understand why this is an important feature. 
Is it an extra step to maneuver each time? Yes, it's but worth it.

#3. Go tall or go home

Do you remember this shot I took a few months back of the chandelier crystals with the wreath on the arched doors in the background?

I love this shot. 
I saw it as I was moving things around and knew that it would be amazing. 
But, my tripod was too short to get the view right. 
So I just placed it on the bed and cranked the height up as much as I could.
 But... we don't have the type of mattress that you and the kids can bounce on and the glass of wine won't fall over.
 We have the old school kind that wiggles and wobbles when you stand on it which is not going to work for a crisp photo.
As impatient as I am, instead of grabbing a chair or step ladder which was in the other room
 I pulled up a stool.
And I remember distinctly focusing and taking the shot before that stool started to wobble.
   Along with the camera gripped in my hand, I semi  bumbled to the floor. 
Luckily, nothing was broken (me or the equipment) but I knew that I really could use
 that extra height in the tripod for shots just like that one.
My advice?
 First - don't stand on wobbly stools no matter how big of a hurry you are in. (aye)
Second- Go tall. 
Get a tripod as tall as you can find that works for you to be able to grab those shots. 
Even if you don't need it every day- grabbing chandelier photos or anything higher
than eye level it is going to really come in handy.

The perfect tripod?
I don't know that I have found the perfect tripod- honestly, I just got it recently.
But I can tell you that so far- this one is very sturdy
 and I haven't once had to pull it off to tighten the plate up again.
Do I still hold the strap when stepping away?
Absolutely. Lesson learned and I am a little more cautious about it now
 but will probably relax as I use it more.

The not so great about the tripod: 
It is a chunk more expensive than your average tripod- (here) (affiliate link)
and I even paid less than they are selling for at the moment and thought it was expensive.
So, yes,  it is going to cost a little.
But for me- it was worth it. 
The features it offered combined with the recommendations of every single one of my
seriously amazing photographer friends sold me on it.

I hope that helps give you some ideas of what to consider.
Most importantly- just make sure whichever tripod you choose-
 it plays well with you and your camera and enjoy!!

Coming your way this week~
 a toile tale & this sweet girl and pom pom throw.

Happy Tuesday everyone!!

Not a sponsored post- just sharing my thoughts
and answering your questions.

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  1. I can only imagine that sinking feeling as you spied the tripod starting to fall over! So glad you were able to catch the camera strap just in time.

  2. I love this post, It has a lot of good information, I read it twice..You take beautiful pictures.. I think I need a tripod too...Thank you

  3. one more thing ....I hope you don't forget about those mini posts all about photography coming our way...I'll be waiting..Thank you

  4. Nice tripod! We have a little bit beefier one than a basic one but it can't tilt. So, for some shots I have been "leaning it" with the front leg lower than the other two. Crazy! (Just getting into all that myself!) My son is using some really beefy ones at his university in his broadcasting and journalism program. He films for the university during football games, soccer, etc, and is having camera/tripod/lens-envy big time!!! But, learning so much for his own future! :)
    Thanks so much for sharing ~ especially about getting the high shots. Great information to know!
    Barb :)

  5. Amazingly informative. Required thought and time for which you went the extra mile.

    Sweet pooch....

    Happy week,

  6. I know that feeling! I too have made that quick swoop in the save the camera! I have trouble when I use my 'heavy lens'. Your photos are so inspiring~

  7. I have a heavy duty Manfrotto tripod as well. You'll love it!


  8. Que bonito post, me he paseado por tu bloc y me ha encantado.
    Te animo a hacer una ojeada en el post de esta semana y seguro que veras algunas ideas realmente interesantes.Deseo que te guste y si es así me alegraria que te hicieras seguidora. gracias por visitarme.

  9. I look forward to your posts Courtney. My goal this year is to try and improve my pictures. I have been looking at the tripods but will have to wait before I can purchase one of the good ones so sadly. Can not wait to hear more advice!

  10. i love this post!!!!!!! hugs, angie from germany

  11. A new tripod is on my long list of stuff I need to buy. Thanks for sharing all these wonderful info. I love your photography, and yeah, I've been there climbing unstable surfaces to get those high shots. :)

  12. It looks like we have the same tripod. Mine is a heavy monster too, but it's so worth it!