I’ll confess, I couldn’t find a cute way to put together the words tripod and Thursday, so I pulled a Brangelina and created Tripoday. I mentioned the use of tripods on Tuesday and figured that writing a how-to on how to use a tripod would be of good use. Tripods are a great tool if you’re looking to take self portraits, long exposure photos, panoramic images, or if you are simply in need of an extra stable hand.

Unfortunately, today’s post is going to be a bit word heavy. I have to measure up to all of yesterday’s gorgeous photos. But just so I do not leave you completely photo-less, there are a few fun links for your viewing pleasure.

Tripods are three legged adjustable camera stands on which you can mount your camera to ensure your do not encounter camera shake, even on uneven surfaces. Camera shake occurs when the photographer’s hands are not stable enough to take a clear picture. With point-and-shoots, this isn’t typically a problem because you are usually printing the images 4×6 or 5×7, but if you’re taking photographs for larger printing or selling, the larger the image, the more easily you will see imperfections such as blurry lines.

Here is your standard run-of-the-mill tripod. I cleverly circled the adjustable  parts and color coded them for your convenience. I’m going to take you step-by-step through how each of those functions work so you’ll be a tripod wiz in no time!

Pink: in the center of this circle, you’ll find a small screw. Coincidentally, if you look on the bottom of virtually every camera, film or digital, you will find a circular groove. To secure the camera on the tripod, carefully, and with a firm grip, screw the camera onto the tripod.

Dark blue: here you will find a small knob. When you loosen the knob (lefty loosy, righty tighty) you will be able to tilt the camera. Once you find the angle at which you wish to take the photograph, tighten the knob and the camera will stay in place.

Green: turning this crank will adjust the height of the camera; one way is higher, one is lower. I don’t know which is which. This is reason #1 why you should experiment!

Light blue: flip up this knob and this adjusts the height of the upper pole. In my experience, this pole is mainly used to fine tune the height of the entire tripod and make sure the tripod is firmly on the ground and doesn’t shift or tip over. I prefer these to fine tune the height because they are higher off the ground and less bending for adjustments is less strain on the back.

Orange: flip up this knob and this adjusts the height of lower pole. In my experience, this pole is mainly used to increase or decrease height and I typically will adjust all of them to the same length.

To pan, simply grip the handle and turn it to the left or right. This should be slightly difficult to move and won’t shift easily when taking the photograph.

That’s about it! You’re a master now, equipped with enough knowledge to go on even the roughest terrain and take a perfectly clear, straight photograph!



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1 Response to Tripoday

  1. Samara Pearlstein says:

    This was very informative. I always wondered how the heck those tripods really capture some of the specific angles they do. Thanks for all the advice!

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