The image of a Great Horned Owl above was taken close to my home in Silver Springs, Calgary. When I first saw the owl I ran over to it carrying my camera and 300 mm F2.8 lens and fired off a round of photos hand held. After 10 minutes I went back to my car and brought back my tripod with me. I photographed the owl for another 15 minutes and these images were superior in composition and sharpness. Having my lens attached to the tripod allowed me to compose more carefully and eliminate distracting branches around the side of the frame. It's hard to pay attention to the edges of the viewfinder frame when trying to hold a big lens steady by hand. A tripod will similarly help anyone compose more carefully - especially landscapes and macrophotographs.


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