Tripod is one of the most important pieces of gear that a photographer should have. Of course, having it doesn’t mean you automatically take a good shot. It always depends on how you use it. These are 5 tips for using a tripod for landscape photography.
Few things to remember. Tripod’s purpose is to keep your camera as still as possible. Since that’s the reason, it’s reasonable to avoid any possibility of movement. Because the slightest shake can be bad for your photo. Except if you do it on purpose for creative reasons. But even with a tripod, there is always a chance of your camera being shaken. To avoid that, these are a few tips you can follow:
Note: these tips are also applied to any kind of photography that uses a tripod.
1. Mind Your Ground
Understand the ground where you standing. A hard, steady ground (like concrete or rock) can be a good place to put your tripod on. Unlike a soft ground (like sand, mud, or water) is not a good place for your tripod.
But if you have no choice but to put your tripod on soft ground, you can just jam your tripod deep into the ground until it can move. Many tripods have their own sharp point on each of the legs that allow you to do just that.
2. Weight your Tripod
Another problem you face is wind. If you love to photograph mountains or beaches, you should already know it is usually windy. Could even throw your tripod away. Even if you are on steady hard ground, your camera still can be shaken by the wind. To avoid this, you can make your tripod harder to move by making your tripod heavier to move by attaching heavy stuff to your tripod.
Many tripods have a hook, where you can attach something heavy, like your camera bag. With that, your tripod will be heavier and a lot harder to move.
3. Stretch your Tripod’s Legs to it Max
To keep your tripod steady, you should stretch your legs fully, don’t halfway. So simple, but if you didn’t your tripod can lose its balance and fall. So keep in mind
4. Keep your Camera Straight
Doesn’t have anything to do with keeping your tripod as still as possible. But still important. It is important for you to keep in mind your composition. One thing to keep in mind is the level of your camera, so you can take a straight shot that level well with the horizon.
One thing you can do is to buy a bubble level that you can attach to your camera’s hot shoe. Or you can buy a tripod that has its own bubble level.
5. Use an Actual Tripod
This is the most important thing, buy a real tripod. Speaking from my own experience, “buy an expensive tripod, rather than a cheap one. Or you end up regret it.” It sounds extreme but it’s true. Because many of the problems explained above are mostly happen to a cheap tripod.
Addition Tip: Keep your Tripod Safe (In case it fall)
Other than those 5 tips on using a tripod for landscape photography, an additional tip comes from my own experience. I was at the edge of a cliff took a shot of mountain landscape photography. It’s really windy there, and then my tripod just got shaken and about fell down off the cliff with my camera and my camera bag attached to the tripod. Luckily, I respond quickly enough to grab my tripod before it actually fell. I think I was ready to jump back then. Since then I hardly ever want to take a photo anywhere near a cliff or the edge of any high place.
So this is just an experience that happened to me once and I want to share it with you. Don’t want to scare you, it is just to remind you to be careful with your photography gear.
Read More: 5 Camera Gears for Long Exposure Photography