Photography Simplified | How to use a Tripod

Using a tripod opens up a range of possibilities for night photography, multiple exposures and other creative options using slow shutter speeds. There's nothing too complicated about using a tripod but there are a few key rules that will help to make the most of having your camera fixed in position.

1. Turn off Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS). Your lens or camera body may well have this feature, designed to reduce the affect of the small movements that are introduced when you hold a camera in your hand. It's unnecessary with a tripod and can even introduce tiny vibrations as it tries to correct non-existent movement.

2. Use a remote shutter device or self-timer. The act of pressing the shutter button causes movement, so activate the shutter remotely via a cable or wifi if you can, or simply set a short self-timer period for each shot.

3. Position the tripod carefully. Decide on the composition of your picture first, then set up the tripod. If you can, position it with one leg pointing forwards towards the subject, and with the centre post as near to vertical as possible. This provides the most stable base.

4. Stabilise the tripod. If you can, add some weight either over the feet of the tripod or, even better, attached to the centre post.

5. Don't extend the centre post unless you need to for the extra height. It's less stable than using just the three main legs.

6. Don't get too fixed in one position. Naturally you're going to be moving less with your camera attached to a tripod, but don't be tempted to settle for just one or two positions. Most tripod heads will also hold the camera in both portrait and landscape orientations so you still have those options too.

It can be a pain to carry around but it's a great tool that opens up a range of possibilities.

 London Bridge, from my recent 24-hour London Project

London Bridge, from my recent 24-hour London Project