Benro Tripod Shoes for long exposure Seascape Photography
I photograph mostly long exposures seascapes and generally I photograph right on the shoreline or in the water. Which means that my cameras and tripods are prone to sinking in the sand as the tide washes in and out and leaves the sand waterlogged. During a long exposure seascape that often means slight camera movement, which is not always desirable. Even the tiniest of movement can leave a slight blur on the rocks or mountains. It obviously depends on how long the shutter is open for. The longer the shutter speed the more movement will affect the image. And it also depends on the beach and sand and water. Some beaches suffer more with sinking sand!
The options to solve this issue are few and far between and most internet research leads me to Manfrotto or Gitzo snow shoes that look rather complex in their fitting. I have also heard of people making their own – using CDs fitted to the bottom of the tripods is a common one. I myself carried CDs around for about a year to try this method and will admit that I never actually got them out of the bag. Firstly because you have to carry around CDs and secondly I could never figure out how you would attach them without losing them to the sea.
So I decided to experiment with my own design and see what happened. We got some 3mm acrylic ordered from plasticsheet.com cut with a centre hole. We then drilled it out when it arrived to fit the screw thread on my Benro Tortiose tripod perfectly. The acrylic isn’t too wide so that I can still fold my tripod with the shoes attached. For the initial trip out though I put them on the tripod on the beach just to see how easy it was.
After attaching the acrylic shoes and camera I tested it out in a small river for ease to see if there was any difference. I discovered that the tripod still sank a small amount, but it sank only until the acrylic had some grip and then stopped. It didn’t continue to sink as it did without the acrylic shoes on. So I will continue to use these and see how well they work in various scenarios. Here are a couple of images taken on the day!