tripod in a simple definition is a three legged holder, but again what is a tripod? And how important are they? tripods in professional photography are really essential for a quality photo and will talk later about why they are really important?
What is a tripod?
a tripod is completely responsible for keeping the balance of the camera, facing any horizontal, downward and lateral forces, tripod isn’t used only as a holder for the camera, back at the ancient ages it was part of the Chinese and Greek culture used as trophies or as a cooking, the Chinese people use tripods in modern times to symbolize values like unity but away from that let’s talk about the most used term nowadays for tripods
Let’s get into more details about our photography tripods, they are made mostly from steel, aluminum or carbon fiber with very thin legs (holders) to try to save space as much as possible, any tripod has a thing called thumbscrew that has a mate in the camera to fix it.
Now that we’ve answered the question (what is a tripod) it’s time to ask why a tripod? Tripods are really important for motion and fixed photography to prevent the movement of the camera like the blurred image that is produced when the shutter is open while there is camera movement let’s say it a tool for reaching the maximum sharpness that a photo can reach, tripods are also used sometimes as a replacement for the stands.
You see night photography is a piece of art itself, you don’t get a lot of light in some cases there is almost no night at all, anyway you will have to use a slow shutter speed which is an impossible thing for you to hold it by yourself or for example when you’re capturing those magic tails of lights made by cars at night using long shutter speeds which makes it almost impossible for you to hold still the camera with your hand that is where the role of the tripod comes giving you a quality photo.
As I said tripods aren’t just camera holders, they can be flash unit holders for a photo session or to hold camcorders and since tripods can tilt and pan easily they are very efficient for camcorders giving you a professional panning movement and a high quality picture.
Action shots and close-up shots
If you are looking for a really eye-catching action shot then you need to use a tripod for the panning movement making it way more easily, also close-up shots require no mistake taking it, a slight movement is enough to ruin the quality of your photo.
I think this time if I asked what is a tripod? You will probably think it’s weird asking the question knowing all of this benefits and knowing how essential it is, it moves you from the “I want to be a great photographer/filmmaker one day” zone to actually being a professional great photographer
Telephoto lens and tripods
telephoto lens with its heavy weight and its long focal length is really hard to fix it, it gets affected by the slightest vibration from the wind or the camera shutter and mirror, all that plus the slow shutter speed due to the slower maximum aperture which makes the problem even worse.
Getting the right frame isn’t an easy job, when the you set the tripod its easier for you to decide if there is a better frame that you can get, the tripod can get your camera places your eyes and hands can’t reach, a lot of tripods can set your cameras just centimeters from the ground or as high as NBA players, indoor sessions as well the tripod gives you the opportunity to focus more on the lighting and not worrying about the camera, creating a creative environment for your photos.
sunset is not an easy thing to capture handled camera due to the low lighting and increasing darkness, when you take a look at your LCD you will see how sharp less the details are when you don’t use a tripod even if you adjusted the ISO level really high you will create a noticeable noise in the photo.
let’s say you went on a sunny afternoon with 50 photographers, probably 5 of them only would be carrying tripods, you might say why would I carry an extra thing like a tripod in the middle of the day? A lot f professional photographers said that it’s true in many cases that might not get a vibration or a camera shake but they say from their experience, stopping the camera shake isn’t the only purpose that tripods were made for, when you go for a shot in a bright place the more intense the light the more intense the shadow in which makes it harder to show the parts in the photo where that shadow is, and to get the best result from this photo multiple exposure might be the best answer, combining all the photos on the computer or the some camera themselves have this option in their setting but what is common between both is that you have to use tripod to easily combine all the photos into one great shot.
The neutral density filters
The neutral density filters are used in photography to balance anything that is moving like flags or waterfalls and a proper blur and balanced daylight.
you have to shoot longer exposure anyway depending on the amount of light and density, they say the neutral density filter and tripod are married, try to a take photo with the neutral density filters on handled with your hand and you will regret it the second you look at your LCD, they say the two are made for each other, the more you give to your camera and care about what she loves the better pictures it will give you.
Shooting architecture buildings or places is not a field of interest to a lot of photographers, but if you are interested in shooting them then you might go ahead and bring the tripod next time with you , lighting won’t be your strong suit here unless it’s ultimately bright outside or you have you own source of strong artificial light so you will need to slow down your shutter speed so again what is a tripod here for exactly? First of all it will allow you to keep your shutter speed slowed down, you won’t have to keep ISO levels high creating a noticeable noise rate in the photo
Now that we have mentioned what is a tripod? What is it you used for, how important and essential it is almost in every type of photos, let’s talk now about what exactly to look for when buying one
Factors to look for when buying a tripod
Remember first of all the you are going to carry it a lot with you so if have a normal camera with no accessories then it is better to go for the light option but if you are planning on getting a DSLR soon and some accessories to your camera then get something that can hold that weight, and if your already has some accessories connected to your camera then I guess you know what to do
Getting a light weight or heavy one doesn’t always equal stable, test the camera on the tripod yourself make sure it is going to hold still on a windy day and look for the style too, there is a lot of different styles too pick one that will you will hold it with you when you are out most of the day
One factor as well is the number of sections in the leg, it could be 2 or 3 I would go for the 2 myself, it is really simple it, easier to carry when folded
you are the one who decides here what height to go for, think about the minimum and maximum height that will need and try it yourself and see how it operates, fold it up and see how does it look, you might want to go for a maximum height that you can reach without bending, you don’t want to spend all day on your toes to look at the photo in the LCD
One of the most important things as well is the head of the tripod, there are numerous ways in connecting the head of the tripod to your camera and everyway differs and determine how flexible your camera is going to be also one good thing about the head that you can buy it separately and easily connect it to the rest of the tripod and the camera, so next time someone asks you what is a tripod?, you probably have a pretty good answer now.