Photographers of all skill levels can benefit from using a tripod. This handy camera accessory will help position and stabilise your camera enabling you get better quality shots.
Tripods come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes for smartphones and cameras alike. There are tripods for every taste and budget and selecting the right piece of equipment for you depends on how and where you plan to use it.
In this blog we will outline the top reasons why you should use a tripod and 5 ways it can improve your results:
1. Sharper low light photos
Taking photographs in the evening or at night can be a challenge and photos often turn out blurry and grainy. To get a sharp image you often have to increase the shutter speed to get enough light for a good exposure. Even if you think you have a steady hand, a tripod is necessary to hold the camera still to open the shutter long enough for a well exposed and focused image.
2. Creative long exposure images
Smooth running water, light trails or motion blur are all creative photography effects you can achieve by using a long exposure. These images create a fascinating artistic contrast between the elements of your composition that are moving and the parts that are standing still. A tripod is the best way to keep your camera still while the shutter is open for longer to take these shots.
3. Frame first, shoot later
Using a tripod allows you to set your shot up and have the camera ready and waiting for the right moment to hit the shutter. You can adjust the settings ahead of time and know that with the camera steady in place your exposure and focus is perfect. Having your photo framed ready to go also enables you to step back and enjoy the moment and not be experiencing it through your viewfinder.
4. Easier portrait and self portrait photography
There are plenty of ways using a tripod can help you take better photos of people - or yourself! A tripod allows you to be both the subject and the photographer giving you full creative control over what happens on both sides of the camera. You can also use it to improve portraits taken in low or harsh lighting situations by strategically bracketing the exposure of your photos to combine in post production.
5. More detailed macro shots
Taking higher quality closeup photos is significantly easier when using a tripod. Photographing very small objects requires a bit more precision to ensure your subject is in sharp focus. Even the push of the button in handheld shooting is enough movement to blur your image.
Using a tripod can also help you get your camera into some awkward spots that may be difficult for your body to position or hold itself. Holding the camera still for longer also enables you to try more advanced techniques such as focus stacking. This is where you take an assortment of photos focused on different areas of your subject extending the depth of field to be combined later in Photoshop.
In addition to these benefits, another advantage of the tripod is that it gives you a break by relieving you of the weight of the camera. If you prefer to alternate between freehand shooting a tripod can also be helpful to hold lights, flashes, or reflectors, if necessary.
Before you rush out and buy a tripod you might want to experiment with other ways to stabilise your camera at home first. Many resourceful Creatively Squared community members have fashioned their own tripods out of household items or used stacks of boxes or books on furniture to get the perfect height. Be resourceful and use what you have on hand first to see if it’s something you’d like to invest in.