- Sharper Images
- Special Techniques
- Cheap Camera Accessories You Need In Your Camera Bag
- No Tripod? No Problem! Use One of These Alternatives
- How To Pack Light For a Photography Trip
photo by BirdImages via iStock
Welcome to the amazing world of serious photography! Now that you have become familiar with all of the settings and controls of your fine camera, you are exploring what else to do to get more out of your photography. One of these things is understanding the advantages of having a tripod.
If you are reading this column to get gift ideas for your photography friends, we’ll show you several different types of tripods and tripod alternatives, too.
Benefits of Tripods
photo by NoSystem images via iStock
Tripods are a vital part of a photographer’s gear bag, being useful for many situations and actually making possible certain specific methods. We have four benefits of having a tripod to look at today plus some basic tripod tips.
photo by primeimages via iStock
Number one on most lists of why you need a tripod is to ensure sharper images since camera movement is eliminated. There are three major reasons why an image may be blurry or unsharp: focus, subject motion, and camera motion. One of the major benefits of tripods is that it fixes one of those three out of hand and helps in the others.
Mounting our camera on a tripod or one of the tripod alternatives stabilizes the camera so that it won’t move during exposure. Longer shutter speeds, such as what we get when stopping down our lens for more depth of field, shooting in really low light, or when using certain filters, will give us images blurred by our hand movement if we are hand holding our camera.
Since we’re on our tripod, we can also closely monitor our focusing to ensure what we want in focus is in focus. And a simple behavior modification also tends to occur when a person gets in front of a camera on a tripod, they will be likely to stand still for the photo.
So, one of the key advantages of having a tripod is that it helps us prevent blurred images. Tripod tips include also using a remote shutter release of some type, wired or wireless, and checking out smaller travel tripods and tripod alternatives like the OctoPad that you may be more likely to actually take with you as opposed to a large and heavy tripod.
photo by ozgurdonmaz via iStock
Tripod advantages include being able to easily repeat photos which really comes in handy for some specific types of photography. Shooting portraits is one type. Since much of our more serious endeavors in portrait photography also involve lighting, posing, and composition, keeping the camera in one place during several variations of posing is beneficial.
Repeatability is also good for small product photography such as we might do for online sales or for filming a weekly video blog for whatever subject we’re covering. Either in the same session or coming back to the same spot, we can create a lot of consistency which is often good for these photo or video sessions.
Tripod alternatives such as the OctoPad can even be a part of our regular desktop or tabletop since they are very compact.
photo by Creative life, looking for special pictures. via iStock
If you are wanting to try out some of the specialty techniques you’ve seen here such as HDR photography, long exposure outdoor photography, light painting, or panoramas, these are additional reasons why you need a tripod.
In order to maximize the ability to do any of these techniques, a full-size tripod is a good idea, but travel tripods and other tripod alternatives can also be used.
Your new camera has amazing video capability, which may be one of the reasons you got it in the first place. Steadying your camera, smoothing out pans and tilts, and holding lights or mics are made easier by a nice video tripod with a fluid head or one of the tripod alternatives such as OctoPad.
What is OctoPad? It’s one of the better tripod alternatives for holding small to medium size cameras and video accessories such as LED lights or a shotgun microphone. It is a weighted, semi-rigid pad with a non-slip bottom that can stay put on surfaces up to a 45-degree angle.
You can mount a tripod head on the OctoPad, a small ball head may be included depending on what package you choose. Since the OctoPad is small and relatively inexpensive, you can use a couple at a time, holding a mic and a light in addition to your camera.
Other Uses for Tripods and Tripod Alternatives
In addition to these four advantages of having a tripod, you will find many other uses and benefits in some of our other articles. Is there a subject that interests you specifically? Search our articles for a deeper discussion or send us a message of what you want to read in a new article.