The End of an Era

As I was taking photographs yesterday, I had a bittersweet moment. I knew the day was coming, but I was hanging on. I would have been better to move on months ago, but I just couldn’t let go. We have been together for over eighteen years, so to move on felt like I would be cheating – like I would be unfaithful.

She has been with me when I was passionate and when I wasn’t paying attention to her. She has been there, right beside me, when I didn’t need her.  Sometimes, I asked her to be something she never was intended to be. But, she stuck with me. Sure, there are sexier and better out there, but she was mine.

Once again, I asked her to help me achieve my goals. Once again, she was there giving me everything she had. Then it happened.  I broke her leg. I broke the leg on the tripod that I have had for almost two decades.

IMG_0685
Photo taken with my smart phone.

A friend gave her to me as a gift many years ago. No, she is not a top-of-the-line tripod and often a little difficult to handle, but she has been there through thick and thin. In all seriousness, it was truly a bit of a sad moment. I know I need a nicer tripod and planned on saving to get one, but I was in no hurry because I had this one that I have had for years.

I have a small tripod to serve as a fill-in, but it is by no means adequate as a long-term solution.

Now begins the process of finding a new tripod. One of my purposes for this blog is to share my experiences as a broke photographer to encourage other photographers who don’t have a lot of money. So, I am always looking for ways to save money.  Based on all of my research, there are two pieces of equipment on which serious photographers should never skimp – lenses and tripods.  In regard to lenses, the experts I am reading insist that photographers should invest in lenses before a new camera body.

For landscape and macro work, which I enjoy the most, the most used piece of gear in my bag is my tripod. In fact, I would say that I use a tripod when taking about 95% of my photos.  Roman Kurywczak says the tripod is the most important piece of equipment in landscape photography.

The tripod that keeps coming up in the videos I watch is distributed by Really Right Stuff. They are considered top-of-the-line and are a realistic investment for the professional photographer. Based on everything I have read, these really are amazing pieces of equipment. The problem is I honestly don’t have$00 –  $1300 to lay down for a tripod and ball head. I’m a broke photographer! I am willing, however, to spend more money on a tripod because it is an investment that will last a long time. My pitiful little tripod that I just broke lasted eighteen years!

Here are the top three tripods I am looking at:

If you would like to help me grieve for my tripod or give me a great suggestion for a new tripod, feel free to comment below!

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