Lady Bird

The Grand Importance of Tripods

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Lady Bird
Lady Bird perched on a blade of grass

A tripod is one of the key tools in photography. Whether you shoot landscapes, portraits, pets, children, night, or even ants, the tripod is one tool that gets your photograph that much sharper.

  • Example 1: If you are shooting your subject in low light, holding your camera still by hand for that long Shutter Speed, is nearly impossible. A tripod will hold your camera perfectly still for hours.
  • Example 2: Let’s say that you are photographing a bird that is not too far away. The bird is beautiful, but so is the background. You grab your 300mm lens, you’ll use a setting of something like ISO 50, 1/60s, f/16. You will not be able to handhold your camera still enough to avoid camera shake, USE A TRIPOD
  • Example 3:  If for some reason you have to get the shot without a tripod, you will have to move your shutter speed 3 stops faster and move either aperture or ISO to compensate.
    • If you sacrificed aperture, your settings would become ISO 50, 1/500s, f/5.6, which would bring more blur to your background.
    • If you sacrificed ISO, your settings would become ISO 400, 1/500s, f/16, which would keep your background in tact, while adding a barely noticeable amount of noise from the raised ISO number.

Induro Tripod Open

I use an Induro Adventure Tripod. Pretty reasonable on cost, at about $99.00, and very stable. It ranges in height from about 9 inches to somewhere around 55 inches, and is extremely stable, as you can see. Stability is key in a tripod, it is the entire purpose. I have used mine in the ocean, and in 50 mile per hour winds, and with some leg adjustments, it does great!

Tripod in the waves
Capturing an ocean sunset sometimes requires that you get a little wet.

Another note I would add, when using a tripod, use your timer, and if you have a DSLR, use the Mirror Lock function in live view. Just another source of camera shake eliminated.

Tripods can range in cost from $10.00 to $1,300.00 and beyond, so be mindful of what you actually need.

Just The Tip: Avoid very cheap Tripods, and purchase one from a place where you can return it, in case you are disappointed.

I recommend:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/ and http://www.adorama.com/ in that order

Oh, and if you have a money tree, check these out: http://www.reallyrightstuff.com/

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small monetary reimbursement if you make a purchase using this link.

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