Tripods: The Photography Tool That Can Truly Enhance Your Imagery

You've got your camera and you're ready to go - however, you feel that there is something more you can add to your pack to make it all more interesting. While great photography can easily be obtained without having to deal with a million accessories there are a couple of them that are simply necessary for certain effects, and you simply cannot deny it.

One of the most useful photography accessories is the tripod, and within this article we shall discuss a couple of important facts about it: like how to choose one, what is the perfect price range for a beginner photographer and other relevant data.

Using A Tripod

Everybody that is a photography enthusiast knows that a tripod should not be missing from your photography set. However, very few enthusiasts actually know what to do with it and end up either leaving it at home most of the times or using it at the most inappropriate moments.

One piece of advice would be - if you are not one to enjoy traveling with a lot of photography-related gear then go for a monopod that will split into a tripod when necessary. These are usually lightweight and easier to store and travel with them.



Now, when is a tripod useful? Basically, whenever you would like to use long-exposures. Note that long exposure are not only great for night shots, but also for shuts where you want to emphasize movement in a particular manner. For example, imagine yourself at 2000m, or simply somewhere above the clouds.

If you want to show the movement of the clouds, all you have to do is set an higher aperture and a long exposure - make sure you use a proper combination of the two to obtain great results. Another great chance to use long exposure is with waters in motion since that will allow you an opportunity to enhance the view of flowing waters.

How to Pick The Right Tripod For Your Case

Either way, when selecting a tripod consider the following factors:

  • How often you are going to use the tripod
  • How much you are willing to invest in this tripod
  • How important is the comfort factor in this equation

When selecting a tripod, frequency of use is very important since this will allow you to impose a price range meaning that if you are at the beginning of your photography career (or hobby) there will be some time before you get the hang of tripod use and long exposures, therefore you will probably spend a lot of time getting very little out of your tripod-investment.

And if you already know you will not spend a lot of time  using it, you should probably not look for one that is very expensive or very professional. In time, after your photography skills have matured and you know what you need to advance, you can start looking for one again.

Price range is dictated by the frequency-of-use factor and its importance in your photographs. It is obviously not the best investment if you plan to use it once in a while and then only to learn a couple of things.

If you truly can afford it, you can go for the ones that are more expensive, however, normally one that is around $100-$150 should do the trick. At least in the beginning.

Comfort is also incredibly important, as we already discussed. Most professional tripods come with their own bags and casings, that can help you carry them around. However, in terms of comfort, there is also the problem of weight and size.

For example, if you are a mountain hiker and you plan to take your photo gear along, you already know that every extra pound will be increasingly heavier when it's part of the whole hiking ensemble. On the other hand if you plan on putting in the car and taking it out only when needed, weight and size is less relevant. Make sure you take form factor into consideration whenever considering a new tripod.

Monopods - How useful are they?

The general rule of the thumb, monopods are useful whenever tripods are simply too heavy. Think for example of sporting events or simply situations where you do not have the necessary space to extend your tripod and still have space left for you to jump around. Not to mention that with tripods you always have to make sure you leveled them right. A monopod removes that particular issue and ensures a certain level of steadiness.