Doug Stockdale's Singular Images

September 13, 2007

Unintended Consequences

Filed under: Photography — Doug Stockdale @ 3:53 pm

Scooter & Broken Pole

Unintended consequences are simply those things that occur that you had not anticipated when making your decision.  My series Bad Trip – Sad Trip, which this image is from, is all about unitended consequences.

When I was making the transition to digital image capture (sounds more exotic than just saying photography), what I had not anticipated was how much fun taking night pictures would be again.  While in college, one of our first big adventures was to sneak up on the freeway at night to make long exposures of the car taillights, an effect that we saw in a Popular Phototgraphy article that really looked cool.  Out of all the Kodacrome (K25) we took that night, I think one turned out decently. A lot more difficult process than it appeared and thats we learned about film retroproccicity effects for long exposures.  Night photography quickly waned as an interest.  Not so any more!

What really made me aware of the intended consequences effect was the purchase of my new ball head.  I needed a sturdier ball head on my tripod to handle the heavy 70-200mm zoom lens without locking the ball head and then watching the image slowly dip in the viewer.  What I did not anticipate is the positive effects that adding the L tripod bracket might have on my Canon XTi.

The 35mm film cameras are wider to accomodate the film spools, thus a certain amount of mass and balance seem to be at the pivital point of the center of the lens.  A lot of digial cameras seem to have the lens offset, such as my XTi, with the bulk of the body on the right where your handgrip is.  I think most camera manufacturers are aware of this and do their best to balance the camera/lens.  But if you have interchangeable lens, you can easily add a massive lens (such as my 17-40mm L f/4) that will effect that center of balance.

I have stated previously that my images seem to dip to the right, which may be just the way I see things or maybe due to the camera design and the balance.  The L tripod bracket from RRS has increased the weight of my XTi, but perhaps more importantly, it has added weight to the left side, acting as a counter balance.  I have just noticed that it seems easier for me to hold this camera/bracket combination naturally in a more horizontal position, as it seems to have a better overall balance to it.  My first impression.   So it will be interesting to see how my image captures progresses over the next couple of months with this change.

Best regards, Doug

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