Tips for novice tripod users

I never used a tripod until I started shooting stock. I made some silly mistakes when I started shooting with one, and some of the tips I have read for my photo class include silly things that I managed to get right. This is a compilation of tips for novice tripod users including things I learned through experience and things I've read about. There is probably nothing new here for anyone that has worked with a tripod more than a few times.

1 Get a tripod that will hold your gear. Weigh your camera with the heaviest lens, etc. you will use with the tripod and make sure it is rated to hold at least that much weight. You don't want your expensive equipment crashing on the ground.

2 Read up on different types of tripod heads and think about how you will use the tripod. If you will be hiking around shooting landscapes and wildlife, consider a ligh weight carbon alloy. For in studio use a heavier and less expensive pod may be fine.

3 If you extend the single rod above the legs, you create a less stable platform and may experience camera shake.

4 Hang your camera bag or something heavy from the bottom hook to help steady the pod.

5 Sometimes it's better to set a fast shutter speed and forget the tripod.

6 Make sure everything on the tripod is good and tight.

7 Use a quick release plate so you don't miss a great shot while getting the camera on or off the pod.

8 Use a remote shutter release or a delayed shutter to further avoid shake images

Once you have used the tripod a little while, all of this is obvious, but it seems these are some things that people don't always realize right away. I hope these tips are useful to someone like me that still has a steep learning curve for stock photography.

Photo credits: Cjh Photography Llc.

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The larger segments are actually on top, not bottom. I had a brain freeze.


Two more good tips: make sure the legs won't move--if on soft ground, sink them into the dirt, and I'd you don't need to pull the legs out all the way, use the larger segments (bottom) first


I M not sure what you are asking


A photo 3 -- 5 face, how to model is more appropriate?



For commercial images, you must have a model release for anyone in the photograph that is recognizable. You also need a release if a person is the main subject of your photo.

For crowd scenes or other cases where you are unable to get a release, you may submit the photographs as editorial photos, which cannot be used to sell products.

DISCLAIMER: I am not an attorney. This is my interpretation of DT rules only and should not be construed as legal advice or interpretation of existing law.


Recognizable faces of people on the street

For me it is unclear in which situations can post images taken on streets, where people's faces are recognizable.
Can anyone clarify me?


Thank you Florin and Lenutaidi.


Very useful!


Thank you,Chanevy for your good advice and very useful!


of course it's working, but for street photography you will need all three legs :)


Alvera-that may be my favorite tip ever! I bet it works for street photography as well!


One more tip from me: don't hesitate to use the tripod as weapon if the wild animal you just shooting come to eat you! An Allen wrench is a must. Also, a chronograph and a small pocket calculator will help to calculate if you have enough time to disassemble one leg from tripod or to run; look at bear or tiger feet and do the math to obtain the speed (speed = distance / time). If you have enough time, use the allen wrench to get a leg from tripod and hit the beast. About 24℅ will run. Don't forget to change your aperture and shoot him running! Good luck!


One more tip I would like to add is make sure your image stabilization system off if you have it on your lens. "IS" on a Canon or "VR" on a Nikon, this can end up CAUSING movement when on a tripod and perfectly still. The second trick is remembering to turn it back on again when you have finished with the tripod.


Thank you for the feedback everyone and for the tip Peanutroaster :-)
Mike, I'm sure you will get it next time!


Very good tips! I recently did a night shoot of the Tampa skyline on a very windy evening and had shake issues since I was doing a 40 second exposure in those high winds. Hanging some weight on the tripod's hook may have saved the day. BTW, the image got rejected. But the next full moon will find me back out there and I'll be more prepared this time. Thanks for the article!


Thanks for these pointers :)


Really great advice, thank you!


Thanks for the tips. I have been using a tripod for quite a while now, and you have taught me some new stuff


I find a tripod helps compose a scene. Just don't always use it in the same position shot after shot - go high, low, angle, etc. so your producing interesting views.

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