On this video photographer, Hudson Henry shares a number of tips for using tripods, especially in an outdoor type environment.
There are many things that are worth keeping in mind when working with tripods and you also need to keep in mind that there are two main types of tripods (or use cases for using tripods) and that is outdoor and indoor and both dictate somewhat different approaches and in many cases different tripods. The current video is more relevant for situations when you might be using your tripod outdoor.
The first tip is to make an effort not to use the last part of your tripod( the last section of the legs) especially in travel tripods which have very thin last part. From our experience, this is true but only in situations where it is windy. If you are in situation where there is no wind at all – feel free to use the tripod fully extended. This is also true for the center column – if you extend it and there are strong winds you might introduce vibrations – especially if you are shooting with a long telephoto lens. If there is no wind – by all means – use the center column – we do that all the time and it is much easier than playing with the hight of the legs all the time.
If you are shooting in shallow waters make sure that the leg lock is not inside the water – so do open the last section. If it is saltwater never close the tripod with the water as you might bring send into the leg mechanism. Give the legs a good rance with regular water and dry them with a dry cloth (if you do put a leg lock into saltwater there are ways of disassembling and cleaning it depending on your specific tripod).
If you want to make your tripod heavier of just throw a few things that you might be using somewhere close but not on the ground, heaving a “stone bag” might be a good idea – just one tip – don’t put too much weight in it or it might damage your tripod legs.
Henry’s preferred method for folding a tripod is interesting – he either removes the camera completely from the tripod or secure it tightly, flips the legs and let gravity help him fold them one by one.
Another interesting tip if you are working a lot with tripods in rocky environments – use Rock Claw Feets. We can’t guarantee that they will work with every tripod (we are pretty sure that they actually won’t) but if your specific tripod can accept them – it might be a good idea. Using spikes in saltwater is also a good idea. and you can use the stone bag to cover them so they won’t hurt you or anybody else.
Final tup – don’t overlock the legs (don’t use too much force when closing the legs) this will damage the mechanism – use just a half turn and make sure the leg is locked well and if needed push the tripod just a bit into the ground to secure it in place.
You can check out many more helpful photography tips on our Photography tips section here on LensVid.