Get a leg up
Claire Gillo reveals her six essential tripod tips – so your camera can stand on its own three feet!
Six must-know tips for using a tripod
If you want to shoot using a long exposure setting then you’ll need to make sure your camera stays in the same position all the time the shutter is open. This is where your tripod comes to the rescue.
A tripod is an essential accessory for any photographer. They come in all sizes and weights, but all perform the same basic task and have a fairly similar shape. They have three legs, which you can extend if you need to. Lightweight, small tripods are handy if you’re on the move, but probably won’t provide enough support if you’re using a heavier lens or camera body. Generally, the heavier and more solid the tripod, the better it will be for keeping your camera stable. However, if you need to carry it round all day you’ll have to come to a compromise between weight and stability.
Your tripod has two parts: the legs and the head. The head sits between your camera and the legs. There are two basic designs, ball head and three-way. The ball head is best for wildlife, portraits and action, as it has free movement, whereas the three-way design is more accurate for landscapes and macro photography.
Whatever head and leg combination you choose, here’s how it works…