The Importance of Using a Tripod - Craftsmanship

Added on by Paul Mullins.

Craftsmanship is the final "C" of the creative process. Craftsmanship can best be described as the "technical" side of photography. If you haven't read the previous posts on Communication and Composition I suggest you do so we can put all 3 C's together. The first installment on Craftsmanship is the importance of using a tripod.

72 18x24Swept Away.jpg

Two exposures were shot and combined for this photo. A 5 second exposure was shot for the sky and water, and 15 for the rocks in the foreground, both at f32. It is impossible to achieve the blurred water effect without a tripod, therefore it is vital that you use a tripod to capture longer exposures.

I love using the Gitzo GT1541 tripod (a) with a Really Right Stuff BH-40 ball head (b). The carbon fiber Gitzo tripod is ultra light weight for when I go backpacking and the quality is unsurpassable! I reccomend you hang your bag or some kind of weight on the hook in the center of the tripod just to make sure it as stable as possible. I use a medium format Hasselblad H3D2 that weighs 8 pounds with the lens attatched and my tripod supports it perfectly. I have found it is pointless to waste money on countless cheap tripods when you can invest in a quality one that will last you a lifetime.

The ball head allows me to rotate the camera smoothly to any angle I want only using one simple tightening knob. It is nice and compact as opposed to some of the bulky handles found on other heads. A fast way to attatch and detatch a camera to a tripod is to use the universal quick release clamp system. I attatch a L brackett quick release adapter (c) to my Hasselblad. It allows me to shoot both vertical and horizontal compositions while keeping my camera centered above the axis of the tripod.

A tripod is a great essential tool and allows for careful, precise composition, stability and sharp images.