When it comes to Photography there is literally endless amounts of gear you can use. This could be anything from filters, ring lights, reflectors, lenses, light meters, editing software and the list goes on.
While many photographers focus (pun intended) on this equipment, they usually miss the most obvious piece of equipment that can help improve their photography. As you might have guessed it’s the humble tripod.
I have definitely been guilty of this as it took me over 1 ½ before I added a tripod to my camera gear. During this time I was focusing on lenses and even upgraded my camera as photographers tend to do.
Since I added this simple piece of equipment into my kit, the different types of photography I now undertake is almost unrecognisable from the pre tripod days. It seems crazy, but by using a tripod I actually opened many new doors into different types of photography.
Here are some key factors why i believe this is so.
10 Reasons Why All Photographers Need A Tripod
Before I get stuck into the types of photography and other advantages that come along with using a tripod. I’ll first cover the most beneficial thing I found in using one.
The number one advantage I found when using a tripod was a added layer of care when composing an image. I found that when I used I tripod I was taking more time and care in setting up my shots. This resulted in a better composed image which which i wasn’t expecting at first.
Now whenever I go out on a shoot I always take my tripod regardless of the type of subject for this simple reason.
Since purchasing my tripod I have now gone all in on capturing the stars above. To me this is one of the most rewarding experiences as a Photographer.
If you have done milk way photography, you will most likely remember the first time you captured it in all its glory. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend planning for the next cloudless night.
When it comes to Astrophotography a tripod is essential as you typically shoot with a shutter speed of at least 15 seconds. Also any vibration will turn those pin point stars into blurry blobs. This can be avoided by using a sturdy Astrophotography tripod.
Long Exposure Photography
I actually tried doing long exposure photography before owning a tripod with some moderate success. What I did was rest my camera ever so delicately between two rocks. I then tried to capture the oncoming stream. While this did work ok, I was extremely limited to the exact composition I wanted.
This was actually the main reason I decided to get a tripod to help me capture better long exposure photos. Instead of resting my tripod on unstable surfaces, I can now use a predictable and extremely stable platform to capture great images. Some examples could include photographing waterfalls, rivers, clouds, landscapes, cities at night, waves and the list goes on.
This seems to be a phase that many photographers go through including myself that is typically short lived. When you first learning to do photography, HDR image or high dynamic range images can be alluring to learn because of their clarity and wide light balance.
Shooting HDR images is pretty straight forward and can be setup easily with almost any camera. Some models you can even shooting 9 separate photos with 9 different exposure levels for ultimate HDR domination.
Since multiple shoots are being taken which can be stacked together later in post. Having a still platform like a tripod can mean the difference between an average HDR and one that makes people say WOW. You can check out my full guide on all of the best tripods as well.
While this is a pretty niche category of photography, I still found using a tripod in this situation hugely beneficial. Typically a monopod is preferred for sports photography but you can always fold the legs together of a tripod and turn it into a more heavy and clumsy monopod.
This definelty isn’t the preferred rig when capturing sports but it sure beats holding the heavy telephoto lens for long periods of time. It also allows you to quickly setup and track the action with more accuracy.
Studio Photography: I’m not a big portrait guy but I did find using a tripod to be a big advantage in photographing in a controlled studio environment. Usually you would be moving around with your subject to get a more natural feel when doing the shoot.
However if you are capturing a product or a portrait style look, then a tripod would be a must have in this situation.
Yes I have gone over to the dark side at times. While being an avid photographer I’m also dabble in video and YouTube videos at time. For the longest time I would prop my DSLR camera on the thickest books I could find and call it a tripod.
But….. this has its drawbacks. For one you can carry around all these book and setup for an outdoor shoot. While you might be able to get away with it in your room, you are limited to recording truly great video.
It pretty much goes without saying that if you are recording video a tripod is a must. Even a budget tripod is better than nothing to begin with.
This is another area of photography that while being quite niche, it does have a lot of diehard fans. Personally I have only done macro photography a few times and found it quite frustrating trying to get the optimal shooting distance and focal points. However the end result was quite stunning and was worth the wait.
Whether capturing lady bugs are the eye of a dog, a tripod is a must have as even the smallest amount of vibration will make it impossible to compose and take the shot.
I mentioned this a few times above but using a tripod for Landscape photography is a must. With landscape it’s all about capturing those breathtaking vistas. To portray the amazing sights you saw, capturing a sharp image is a must to help the viewers better imagine the place.
Taking landscape photos is all about patience as well. Once you arrive to the desired spot you want to set yourself up and then compose the image. Shooting handheld is possible but getting consistent results while having an enjoyable experience is minimal. You can check out my top recommendations here for the best landscape photography tripods.
Yes this should have been in the video category but I feel like Vlogging is its own different beast. With the nature of Vlogging you are most likely to be recording yourself in Casey Neistat style. So by using a tripod for Vlogging, you’re essentially adding an extension of your own arm. This allows the viewer to be easily transported into your would with a wider range of view.
You can learn more about setting up a tripod with your camera here.