Tripods may seem troublesome, heavy, expensive, unwieldy – yet they’re one of the absolute best accessories you can buy. They offer a solid support for your camera, which has all sorts of benefits (see below! ).
In fact , for many photographers, a tripod is an absolute gamechanger. Not only does it elevate the technical quality of your photos, it also increases your versatility, assists improve your compositions, and much, much more.
Below, We explain why a tripod is such a fantastic piece of equipment plus why tripod use is such a key part of many professional photography workflows.
So if you’re thinking about purchasing a tripod, or if you’re wondering whether tripod photography is a great idea, or you’re simply looking to understand what a tripod can perform for you, then read on.
1 . A tripod lets you photograph in reduced light
If you want to photograph in low gentle , then you absolutely, one-hundred percent need a tripod.
But with a tripod, you can slow your shutter speed to one 2nd, two seconds, ten seconds, or even ten minutes and still get a sharp result.
Here are a few photography genres that will involve enough low-light picture taking to easily justify a tripod:
- Landscape photography
- Architectural/real-estate photography
- Traveling photography
One caveat: You cannot shoot moving subject matter while using a long shutter quickness; tripod photography doesn’t stop action. If you’re shooting low-light sports, for instance, you’ll still need to keep that shutter speed up, so a tripod will be far less useful.
2 . A tripod lets you capture long exposures
Long exposures work by capturing a scene over an extended time period, usually from around one particular second to thirty secs (though potentially lasting a lot, much longer).
And long exposure picture taking is how landscape shooters capture beautiful motion blur in water, like this:
You can also use long exposure techniques to capture flowing waterfalls, moving clouds, moving vehicles (such as in light trail photography), moving people, and star trails.
However , unless you don’t mind a lot of blur, you need a tripod to do beautiful long direct exposure photography. Your tripod could keep the camera still, even while the subject moves around the frame. And you’ll get a captivating mix of sharp, stationary objects (e. g., the stones in the image above) and blurry, moving subjects (e. g., the water).
Note: While long exposure photography is often connected with landscape shooters, there are plenty of various other genres that can benefit from a slow shutter speed plus a tripod. Architectural and property photographers can capture gorgeous, stretchy clouds that shift above buildings; street professional photographers can capture people streaming through an archway; and even occasion photographers can shoot dancers as they whirl around a room.
3. The tripod offers improved balance
Once your own camera is mounted to some tripod and you lock the top, the frame won’t change .
And this is a big-deal for a couple of reasons.
First, if you freeze the frame, you can spend additional time evaluating it, considering your own focus point, etc . This makes for technically stronger pictures.
Second, a frozen frame lets you work together with advanced techniques such as high dynamic range imaging and focus putting , which both require multiple shots taken from the exact same subject. Yes, that you can do handheld HDR imaging, yet it’s really hard, and the results aren’t always top notch.
Plus, a stable tripod is hugely useful for panning during action photography; it is simple to follow the subject as they move forward from, whereas handholding can be a great deal shakier and jerkier.
four. A tripod promises sharper images
Yes, you probably already know this one – but it bears repeating.
Tripods make your images sharp .
Beginner photographers often come home with gentle images, and they blame every thing: the camera, the zoom lens, the situation. Yet in many cases, the matter isn’t with the equipment. It is simply a too-slow shutter quickness combined with a shaky base, which can be easily solved with a tripod.
Now, it’s important to note that not every tripods are equal. Inexpensive tripods, the kind you can buy for a few dollars on Amazon, may be convenient, but they’re not even close to solid. They won’t enable you to get sharp shots, and they certainly can’t handle serious shooting (e. g., long exposure photography in the wind or rain).
So make sure you invest in a genuinely good, capable tripod. Don’t skimp. Otherwise, you’ll get frustrated time and time again, and you may never discover the true power of tripod photography.
5. A tripod slows you down
A tripod takes time to setup – to extend the legs and position them just as you want. It also takes time to position your camera and lock the tripod head before taking a shot.
This slows you down. And while it may not sound like it, shooting slowly is often a good thing.
You see, the slower you go, the more time you may spend thinking about composition and light. A slow photographer approaches their photos more carefully. They take fewer shots, but those shots tend to be more powerful, better thought out, and more artistic.
There is a time and a place for quick shooting, of course. Sometimes, it pays to shoot handheld and to fire off as many shots as possible (e. g., when photographing wildlife).
But slow shooting is a good thing, too. And a tripod can help you do it.
6. A tripod helps you frame and find shots with ease
It may seem like a minor point, but once your camera is mounted on a tripod, you’ll find it is simple to make subtle changes to your framing. Don’t like the person standing in the back corner? Just pan the tripod head to the right, without worrying about losing your entire composition. Don’t want to include the clouds above the horizon? Shift the tripod head down to subtly emphasize the foreground.
On a related note, you can always use a tripod to find new compositions. Find a nice “base” composition, then slowly pan your camera in every direction, looking through the viewfinder for powerful scenes. The tripod will stop you from feeling overwhelmed – after all, you’ll be limited in your camera movement – while offering plenty of opportunities for additional photos.
Reasons to utilize a tripod: final words
Tripods can make a huge huge difference to your photography – so if you’re on the fence about buying one, just get it.
Your camera will many thanks! (And your portfolio will immediately get better! )
Now over to you:
What do you think of tripods? After reading this article, do you plan to get one? Share your thoughts in the comments below!