Choosing and Using a Tripod
A tripod is an easy to carry, lightweight tripod or stand, usually used as a support for the weight of an object and keeping the same stability of that object on which it stands. This type of tripod has many uses in photography, from close-ups to shots that require wider angles of view. A tripod can be unstable at times and needs to be leveled frequently when shooting a wide shot.
Most modern tripods are made with a combination of three legs: two extending vertically and one extending horizontally. The top or ‘post’ of the tripod is supported by the tripod legs, with the bottom or ‘axle’ of the tripod acting as stabilizer. The tripod must have a degree of stability that allows it to be tilted or inverted from time to time. When the tripod is vertical, the weight of the whole tripod tends to act as its own anchor and will not allow the tripod to tip over, since the whole tripod is supported by its legs and not the armature. The trend in tripod designs over the last few decades has been towards a more ‘free-weights’ design where the tripod does not have any permanent holding devices.
Tripods are available in all different shapes and sizes, depending upon the photographer’s needs. Many new tripod models come with stabilizers built in, to help the photographer keep their tripod level while shooting. Some tripods have removable legs, so that the tripod can be folded away when not in use and kept away from children or pets. It is important to understand the differences in tripod designs over the years to achieve the best results.