Nature photography is a game of inches. Moving your camera an inch or two up, down or over can often make a huge difference.

In this image, I really wanted the foreground tree to have a little bit of separation and green border from the trees behind it.  If I moved my camera an inch or two left or right, the trees overlapped. Moving back or forward did not help either. There was one spot where I could get the image I wanted and handholding that precisely, with a long exposure just ain’t gonna work.

Enter my faithful sidekick and constant companion, my tripod.

With my tripod (and a good ball head) I could carefully adjust everything and shoot as long an exposure as I wanted. To minimize vibration from the shutter. I always use a cable release and mirror lockup (with my Live View setting) to give me a better chance at a sharp image. Once I had the composition set up how I wanted it, I bracketed my aperture between f/5.6 and f/16 and chose the version I liked the best.

Trees and reflections in submerged forest after Trinity River flood, Texas Buckeye Trail, William Blair Park, Great Trinity Forest, Dallas, Texas, USA

Trees and reflections in submerged forest after Trinity River flood, Texas Buckeye Trail, William Blair Park, Great Trinity Forest, Dallas, Texas, USA. Canon 1Dx. 165mm. ISO 50. f.5.6 @ 1/5 second. EV – ⅓.