12/01/10In this icy weather, if you're like me, you will be out capturing the moment whenever the conditions are right. That's all well and good but there are hazards to contend with which are particular to the weather. No, not the obvious ones like slipping over, not wearing sensible clothing or insufficient clothing, not taking food or hot drinks with you or even a shovel, I'm talking about feet.
Tripod feet to be exact. They don't like the ice at all. I've had to make trips to the hardware store more than once to sort it out. (What is this man going on about - Ed.)
We wear warm socks. I'm not suggesting you invest your hard earned in a set of tripod socks that would be just wierd. But, and I am getting there, on the bottom of those feet on your tripod are little rubber caps. It doesn't matter whether it's your Manfrotto or your Giottos, they all have them. Here's the rub. When you place your tripod on ice, you invariably push down to make sure the tripod is steady, frequently pushing the leg through the ice. That's fine, no problem. It's just when you get back to the car, you realise that one of the rubber caps is missing.
What happens of course is that when you pull the tripod legs back out of the ice, the cap catches and you unwittingly pull it off.
So, be gentle with your tripod feet. Don't yank them through the ice but feed them through with loving care. I now use some good old Evo-stick or similar, to secure the rubber feet on with.
It's not just ice that has caused this malady, rocky coves such as Kimmeridge are also culprits.
Also, when you get home, open out your legs - the tripod legs stupid - to let them air and dry out. If you don't, then the moisture can freeze and you can't open the catches or slide the legs out. There is nothing more frustrating, as I know to my cost, than getting up early, getting to a shoot, getting in position, watching the dawn light coming up and you can't open your tripod legs!
I hope this helps?
Have fun and keep practicing.