A tripod is number one on my list of kit recommendations for my Photography students. When you learn to use your camera settings properly, you find out that in order to get the same framing and/or the best quality image for landscape, interior, architecture, still life and seascapes, you will need to keep the camera still. This allows you to take the photo slower which in turn gives you better image quality, or, more in focus in your shot.
For scenes with a big contrast in lighting, (landscapes and interiors) you would be best bracketing to gain a high dynamic range (details in the brightest highlights through to the darkest shadows.) Bracketing means taking more than one photo of the same scene with a range of exposures. This allows you to then merge those shots on the computer (some cameras do this in camera too).
The merged shot will show detail in all the shadows and highlights of your image, gaining a shot with a much nicer exposure overall. Using a tripod in this circumstance means the images all line up and the photos wont show any movement blur or camera shake.
You can also be super creative with a tripod. You can take light trails and show movement in your images too.
Here are some example photos that can only be taken with your camera kept still (preferably on a tripod.)
Light trails of car headlights taken with a long exposure time of 30 seconds.
Wire wool long exposure - set fire to the wire wool and spin it round in a whisk attached to some string for this effect. (Making sure to tidy up after yourself afterwards)
Landscapes with lots of detail.
Showing movement in water
If you are on a tight budget and don't mind a more fiddly tripod, that's not the best quality, is a little bulky but will hold your camera still, you can look at an Amazon basic tripod. The down sides are the legs take longer to extend than my other suggestion, there is no quick release plate so taking the camera off and screwing it on is more time consuming and fiddle. You do get a carry bag and these tripods tend to last a long time if you look after them.
Finally there are less positions in which you can move the legs so your shooting position is a little limited when you want to take photos lower to the ground, or if you want to shoot facing downwards.
Overall this is a great tripod for beginners who are not sure if they would definitely use a tripod for their photography or for those on a smaller budget.
Click the picture to head to Amazon's website via my associate link. This tripod is £17.47 at the time of writing this.
If you're sold on the idea of a tripod and want one that is easy to setup, pack down and quick to attach to your camera, then I would suggest a K and F Concept Tripod. This next suggestion is the one I use. I occasionally use my tripod, in the studio and on location for day trips, seascapes and long exposures. I don't go on big hikes to take landscapes, so if you are looking for something you can hike with, look at my next suggestions for a lightweight, smaller tripod.
The beauty of this tripod for me is that the legs are rubber screw rings, as opposed to levers, and when extending you can get them to the position where all it takes is a good hand placement and a half turn to loosen them enough to fully extend each segment with ease. Then, when you are done, and you have pushed the leg sections in, it's just one half turn again with your whole hand covering the rubber screws to tighten them. Nice and quick! It also has a quick release plate which you can leave in the bottom of your camera and easily attach to the tripod with a
One of the legs completely unscrews and allows you to use it as a monopod which is helpful for steadying the camera a little but it won't do the same job as a secure tripod.
There is also a material grip so if you're carrying it in cold weather conditions you don't have to hold the metal, saving your hands from getting uncomfortable.
The legs extend really wide to allow low down shooting positions and you can also shoot with the camera facing downwards, if needed. It's got a really nice build quality, comes with a carry bag and has a ball joint to move the position of your camera, no more slightly leg adjustments to make the camera level.
This tripod is £114.99 at the time of writing this. Click the image below to follow my associates link to Amazon.
If you are a walker and are looking for the best, most compact, lightweight tripod and you have a big budget, this peak design tripod might be the one for you. It folds down to the same diameter as a drinks bottle, is made of carbon fibre and is beautifully designed.
The legs extend far and are flexible in it's positioning for those low shots if you need them.
It holds an impressive 20lb worth of kit, designed for a camera and a telephoto lens.
It's pretty pricey at £649 at the time of writing this, but the weight it saves when hiking might just be worth it for those of you who like adventuring.
Click the image to go through my associates link to Amazon.
Our Mission Statement: