Do Tripods Make a Difference in Photography?

I used to think that I could get by without using a tripod when I first started photographing photos. 

It would be too heavy to transport, useless in most situations, and additional costly investment. That changed, though, when I began to take my photography seriously. 

As my expectations grew, I discovered that a tripod was nearly essential for capturing the high-quality photographs I desired.

A tripod is one piece of photography equipment that I strongly suggest. 

In today’s post, I’ll discuss why you need a tripod for photography, so you can see how carrying one extra piece of equipment might assist your photography. If you’re looking for a tripod after reading this article, check out our list of the finest travel tripods.

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Why Do You Need A Tripod When Taking Photographs? What is the benefit of using a tripod in your photography? Here are only a few examples:

1. Landscape photography

 Landscape photography
Landscape photography

As frequent readers would know, landscapes are one of my favorite themes to photograph.

One of the most crucial camera settings to be mindful of for landscape photography is the aperture – for the bulk of landscape photographs, we want to use an aperture of at least f/8 and up to f/16 to provide a wide depth of field with everything clearly in focus.

Unfortunately, the narrow apertures lower the amount of light that enters the camera, so we must either drop the shutter speed or increase the ISO to achieve the desired exposure.

Because boosting the ISO will inject noise into the image, we’ll have to reduce the shutter speed, which means we’ll need to use a tripod to avoid hand shake. Anything less than 1/60th of a second shutter speed is not recommended for handheld photography.

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2. Low Light Photography

In the photography world, Low-Light photography is a creative thing to do. We all know it is a professional photographer’s work. Here’s a refresher on the exposure triangle for those who aren’t familiar with it. We use the term to define the relationship between the image’s exposure and the three tools we have to control it — shutter speed, aperture, and ISO.

These three selections impact the exposure, and they all work together to generate the image’s final look.

Unfortunately, there is only so much light to deal with in any given situation. There may not be much light available as the day progresses to darkness, or when we’re shooting inside.

To enhance the amount of light we collect, we can widen the aperture (which reduces the depth of field), increase the ISO (which makes the image noisier), or slow down the shutter speed.

Reduce the aperture as little as possible because it influences the depth of field of the photograph. You also don’t want to boost the ISO because noisy photographs are unappealing.

So the only way to avoid catching unnecessary motion in the photo is to utilize slower shutter rates before altering the aperture and ISO.

And, of course, those slow shutter rates will need the use of a tripod to avoid the blur caused by your hand movement!

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3. Help get sharp images

sharp images
sharp images

You won’t have to worry about camera shake if you use a tripod since it keeps your camera perfectly motionless. 

When photographing flowers, this is especially crucial with lenses that might increase camera shake, such as telephoto and macro lenses when used at close distances. A good tripod can do better than a fast shutter speed, no matter how quick it is.

Also, because you can afford to use a slower shutter speed or a lower ISO, you may adjust your depth of field for more sharpness. Alternatively, get creative and play around with blurring motion. You’ll noticeably better outcomes if you make big prints with higher quality, sharper photographs.

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4. It causes you to slow down

We’ve gotten into the habit of shooting at high speed and reviewing our work later in the day—when it’s too late to go back and redo things. 

We are more likely to capture anything extraordinary if we think about what we want to shoot, organize our shoots properly, and get everything set up correctly. 

A tripod also makes it much easier to level your camera and maintain it level. At the very least, you’ll have a better chance of getting true horizontal horizons.

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5. Long Exposures Photography

 Long Exposures Photography
Long Exposures Photography

If you want to conduct any form of photography that requires shutter speeds longer than 1/60th of a second, you’ll need a tripod to avoid blurry photographs caused by your hand motions.

Long exposure photography, in which you aim to capture the movement of the world around you by opening the shutter for lengths of time measured in seconds – and occasionally minutes – is an excellent example of when you’ll need a tripod.

You won’t be able to hold the camera still in your hands for so long, therefore you’ll need a tripod to get images like these.

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6. Allows you to keep any camera position

One of the first things I noticed was that using a tripod allowed me to capture photos I would never have been able to achieve otherwise. I could set my camera on a tripod anywhere from inches above the ground to way above eye level, along steep cliffs and into bogs and marshes.

The best part was that I could leave my camera there for as long as I wanted, take a break to acquire a diffuser or other piece of equipment I discovered I needed, and then return to continue shooting in the same position.

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7. Filter Photography

Filter photography
Filter Photography

I like to use a polarizing filter in addition to neutral density filters, which are mostly used for long exposure photography as described above.

This brings out specific colors in the sky, helps clouds stand out, and reduces glare and reflections.

In the meanwhile, keep in mind that the black of the glass reduces light, which means you’ll need to use slower shutter speeds, higher ISO settings, or wider apertures to achieve the photo, and a tripod will eliminate hand tremor at slower shutter speeds when using a polarising filter.

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8. To Overcome Hand Shakiness

A tripod can assist folks who struggle to keep their camera still for frequent shots due to age, illness, or a disability such as essential tremor or Parkinson’s Disease.

While in-body and lens stabilization features can aid in certain scenarios, if you still have fuzzy photos owing to your hands shaking, a tripod can surely help.

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9. Time Lapses

I don’t do time-lapses very often, but when I do, I use a tripod. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, a time-lapse is a series of photographs taken at specific intervals and then combined into a video that speeds up the action. Because it’s critical that the shots are perfectly aligned, a tripod is a must for time-lapse photography.

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10. Far Better Self Portraits

Self Portraits
Self Portraits

I may be fighting a losing war here, but if you want a great photo of yourself in front of something interesting, a tripod will produce far better results than a selfie stick.

Yes, I recognize the selfie-ease stick’s of use, the quickness with which you can publish to social media, and the fact that you don’t have to give over your camera to a stranger to acquire a picture – all of these aspects are incredibly convincing. However, your framing options, where you may be in the frame, and the capabilities of your smartphone camera are severely limited.

For more information on how to take better self-portraits while traveling, see my guide to taking better relationship portraits while traveling, which includes a wealth of insights and suggestions.

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11. Astrophotography

The stars are a lot of fun to photograph, but they have a particular obstacle in that they can only be seen when it’s very dark.

And, of course, as it gets dark, the whole exposure triangle thing kicks in, and we have to shoot at both long exposures and, in many situations, high ISOs and small apertures!

Whatever form of star photography you want to take, whether it’s static photos of the Milky Way or epic long exposures of the stars wheeling through the sky, you’ll need a tripod. If you wish to photograph the northern lights, the same rules apply.

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12. HDR Photography

HDR Photography
HDR Photography

High Dynamic Range photography allows you to capture images in difficult lighting settings when the dark and light areas of the image are stark contrasts – such as a bright sky and a murky foreground.

It necessitates the use of software such as Lightroom, Photoshop, or Photomatix Pro to blend numerous pictures at varying exposures.

To get the greatest results, those images must be exactly aligned, and because taking numerous images takes some time, and your hand will move in between them, you’ll need a tripod.

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Conclusion

The difference between a tripod and not using one is noticeable. If you are going to invest in photography, make sure that you use the right tools for the job! When it comes down to it, if you want better photos than your smartphone can take then investing in gear such as tripods will help get those shots every time. 

They’re worth their weight in gold when it comes to preserving memories through photographs so don’t skimp on them or else they could end up being more trouble than they’re worth!

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