how to use a tripod

How to Use a Tripod?

One of the secrets of having amazing photography is learning how to use the tripod. It will help you focus more when preparing your composition, and provide you the stability required for clear and beautiful shots.

Choose a good tripod that is compatible with your spotting scope, camera and you are ready to take some amazing shots. The steps on how to use the tripod are divided into three parts – setting up the tripod, leveling the tripod, and attaching the camera to the tripod.

Steps on How to Setup a Tripod?

You need to properly set up the tripod so it can function well. Setting it up is not easy but we have made it easy for you. Below are steps on how to set up the tool.

» Choose the Right Location

The first thing you need to do is to find the perfect spot to take your photo. Once you have decided where to take pictures, you need to find the best location to set up the tripod. Make sure that the backdrop will compliment everything.

» Arrange the Legs

The legs should be positioned properly. Point one leg in the same direction where your camera will be facing. This will give you enough space between the two legs to position yourself. It will more comfortable and easier for you to do your job as you focus and shoot.

» Stretch Out the Legs

Unlock the latches to release and stretch out the legs. Start extending the thickest part since it provides stable support than the thinner sections.

» Make Sure the Legs are Secured

If you are working on an uneven surface, you need to readjust the tripod legs to get the appropriate length. When you set up on the softer or sandy ground, you need to push the legs down and make sure that it is pressed on something firmer.You can hang your camera bag at the center to add some weight and support for your tripod.

» Check the Tripod Level

If your tripod has a built-in level on top, you don’t have to worry about this step. However, if you do not have then step back and check if the center post of the tripod is perpendicular to the ground.

» Avoid Raising the Center Post

If you think your camera is too low, instead of raising the center post right away, adjust the legs first. The legs will provide better stability. If you use the center post, it will only make the set up less stable.

It is not possible to adjust the height using the tripod legs, when it is only the time that you can use the center post, or if you only need minor adjustments.

Steps on How to Level a Tripod?

After setting up the tripod, you also need to level it correctly. How to do it? Below are steps to guide you on leveling the tripod properly.

» Know the Mechanics of your Level

To check if your tripod is straight or not, check the lines on the level which appear in either bar or circular form. You will know if the tripod is leveled if the bubble is in the center.

If it is not, you need to adjust the tripod legs to level it. Focus on the bubble position on the level. It will guide you on which part to adjust.

» Look at the Bubble at the Bird’s Eye View

It is not a good idea to look at your level from an angle as you will get the wrong gauge. The best way to do it is to check on it from directly above it.

Once you see the bubble in the center, you are now sure that your tripod is leveled. Keep it stable and remain in that position as you work.

Steps on Attaching the Camera

Before you take those shots, you need to attach the camera on your tripod. Here are the steps to ding it:

» Remove the Camera Base Plate

Tripods have a plate that screws into the camera base and locks in place on the tripod. With this, you can easily attach and remove the camera while shooting. Use the quick release latch of the tripod to remove the plate.

» Attach the Camera to the Base Plate

Tighten the camera by placing the screw of the base plate on the hole at the bottom of the camera. This can be done before going out to take pictures to save time on setting up.

» Install the Camera on the Tripod

Position the camera on top of the tripod. Make sure the base plate is between the bottom of the camera and tripod. Some tripods can automatically lock the camera in place. Once you heard the camera click, then it means that it is locked in place.

» Secure the Release Latch

Lock in place the tripod release bar. Make sure that the camera is secured well on the tripod before you let go. To ensure that it fits perfectly, wiggle the camera and check if it will not fall off.

» Adjust the Camera Angle

To adjust the angle, loosen up the knob below the camera base plate. After you have settled on the desired angle, tighten the knob to perfectly secure the camera.

How Tripod Works?

As mentioned earlier, a tripod is a device that stabilizes your camera to help you get sharper photos, especially at long exposures. It is effective when set up in the solid ground.

The device has three legs that can be adjusted in height. The camera is attached to the adjustable head to make it easier for you to adjust the camera height.

When using long lenses or long exposures, the tripod used along with mirror lock-up can lessen vibration and camera movement. This will improve the sharpness.

How to Unlock Tripod Legs?

A tripod with multi-section legs will have a locking mechanism that will prevent the legs from retracting when extended farther or when loaded. The two types of leg locks are the twist lock and the flip lock.

Once you have set up the legs at the right length, you flip the lock in a closed position and the legs will maintain its position. To unlock, loosen, retract or extend the legs, and to tighten twist it.

How to Lash a Tripod?

The steps on lashing a tripod are as follows:

⦁ Place 3 spars side by side. Then, use a clove hitch to tie an outside spar.

⦁ Loosely wrap the rope 7 or 8 times around the spar.

⦁ Complete with a clove hitch tied on the outside spar.

⦁ Straight up the spars and then spread them apart to create a tripod.

How to Carry a Tripod?

Most of the tripods you buy in the market are foldable and comes with a bag. If this is the case, then carrying is not a problem for you.

But if you will need to take pictures along the way it is best to carry the tripod on your shoulders. If you can set up the camera on it, the better and it is much easier to bring it out and take pictures.

Final Thoughts

Using the tripod can be tricky but if you know how to set it up properly, how to level it, and how to set up your camera accurately, expect clear and vivid photos. You can ask the help of the experts if this is your first time to use a tripod for your cam.

One of the biggest mistakes people commit when using a tripod is placing their camera on the tripod without considering the things around them. The problem with using a tripod this way is that it limits you from finding the best composition, perspective, framing, and others.

The best thing to do is to explore the location and figure out what you want to photograph and how you will take the shots. Once you figured out, it is easy for you to set up the tripod in a way that will help you provide better pictures.

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