A tripod for your digital SLR camera is an important and necessary accessory. I’ve owned two of them within the past 15 years and have used them in certain situations; although I prefer to hand-hold my camera, it is not always possible. A tripod comes in handy for the following reasons:
- slow shutter speeds
- photographing landscapes especially sunrises and sunsets.
- photographing families or groups
A tripod is essential when using a slow camera shutter speed of 1/30 second or less. Slow shutter speeds are usually needed when working in low light. For example; when shooting a landscape that requires you to have maximum depth of field f/16- f/27. Dragging the shutter (another term for a slow shutter speed) lets in more of the ambient light of a sunrise or sunset which results on a more colorful and striking image.
Always use a tripod when photographing a family or group, because it requires a small aperture (f/11 or f/16) for maximum depth of field. This is critical when the group is not posed on the same plane, but in rows.
A remote control is another accessory that will enable you to produce a crisper and sharper image when using a tripod.
Tripods are available in price ranges from $75 – $600+. I recommend that you purchase the sturdiest one you can afford. A slight wind can topple one over in an instant. (it has happened to me several times.)
Professional tripods have two parts; the legs and the head. There are two types of heads; pan/tilt heads and ball/socket heads. The ball and socket heads are more fluid and are easier and faster to manipulate for vertical shots. I always recommend going to a camera store to check out the different types of tripods. Bring your camera and gear and test it.
Pictured below on the left is a ball and socket head and on the right is the pan and tilt head
Tripods have different mechanisms for extending the legs. Some have locking knobs and others twist into place. Always check the tripod when it is fully extended to be sure the legs are secure and not going to slip. Tripods are generally made out of carbon fiber, a very lightweight and durable material. The colors choices are black or silver.
A tripod will add to your bulk of equipment and can be a pain to carry around; but once you use one, you will see how much it can improve your photography.
For more information on DSLR photography check out the online course
To view my portrait photography site visit Lightscapes Portrait Studio.
To view my fine art photography site visit Mary Buck Photography