How to Properly Use A Tripod

tripod A lot of you have likely invested in a tripod… that’s the good news. Now let’s make sure you’re getting the most benefit from using it. Here are a few practical tips to get the results you want.

  • Find a level space. When you set your tripod up, look for a level space. This means less vibrations caused by legs jutting out at awkward angles. If possible, try to avoid spaces prone to a lot of vibration (such as metal platforms or wooden floors in high traffic areas). In fact a surface that’s a little softer (like a grassy field or dirt road) may be ideal.
  • Go low if possible. Depending on the shot you want to make, keep your tripod as close to the ground as possible. This minimizes the potential effects of wind and vibration. Try spreading the legs a little wider. You can go too far and make the whole thing unstable, but remember that a fat pyramid will be more stable than a thin one. It also reduces the chance of the gear tipping over and falling.
  • Don’t use the center column. Less extension always means greater stability. At all costs, try to avoid raising your tripod’s center column. This actually destabilizes the tripod. If you need more height, try moving to higher ground. Can you lower your body instead? Can you try a different angle? Don’t shoot the world from eye level all of the time. If you’re tall, consider a tripod that has longer legs.

Head over to Photofocus, my Photography blog for the rest of the article.