A tripod is used and needed to keep your camera still, your flash gun or other equipment motionless.
When taking shoots by holding the camera in your hand, it is impossible to keep it still – it will shake. Depending on your shutter speed, you will see results of not shooting with a tripod in your photos, especially if the shutter speed is low.
A digital camera tripod is not a must in every shooting situation, but it is a have to have it if you want the highest image performance your camera can offer.
Using the tripod is easier with a remote controller, but most of the cameras have the self timer setting. That means you can set it to shoot in 10 seconds – for example – so it will not shake in that moment, you don’t need to touch it.
I personally use a remote controller, it is much simple and it is not expensive.
This is shooting an almost still large area. Almost still because you may have water or clouds for example which are usually moving.
It is perfectly fine to shoot landscapes without tripods, but just think what a long exposure can give you: water and clouds start looking like veils, stars goes looking like lines or spirals, traffic vehicle lights goes in colorful lines with such a nice effect in night shoots…
All of this can not be archived without a stabilizing tool, and the digital camera tripod is a perfect, not expensive gear that can secure and elevate your camera as needed.
Long exposure example with water:
Example with car traffic in the night:
… and with stars:
In my opinion, for great visual performance when shooting architecture, tripod is a must. In architecture you will have lot of artistic details which will fail to be clearly visible when zooming into the photos.
Shooting models, fashion photography
Taking your girlfriend or any other model a nice portrait picture will not always require a tripod. As a fast example (not going into details in this post), just take care your camera is set somewhere to 1/250 shutter speed with an 100 ISO and aperture adapted to the daytime or interior light and it will be fine.
Or just use the presetted portrait setting of your camera and should be fine for most of the brands.
Shooting fashion events like a presentation, a tripod is again not required and maybe not possible. You’ll be surrounded by a crowd of photographers so no place to set anything in place. Shutter speed will have a major role in dealing with that.
Shooting models in studio or outdoor, will require a tripod in some situations. If not for your camera then mostly for lighting equipment – flash units.
Not a must, but is giving great results in a lot of situations. The general idea is that your hand shaking or a standing still tool it will be your choice depending on situation. If the subject is not moving then a tripod will be useful.
If you are in nature chasing insects, it will be fast and more productive just to use your camera settings than to carry a tripod. Little funny bugs will not wait for you to set up your gear.
Why we need a tripod?
To stabilize and elevate your equipment (camera, flash units). To keep it still after you finish with the process of setting up your gear before shooting. Great set up gets great results…
Types of tripods
There are several types of tripods, from the least expensive made from aluminum tubing to the more expensive professional tripods which are sturdier, stronger. Depending on your needs, the weight of equipment you may want to have one or both type.
Does not mean that a professional photographer will only posses professional tripods and an amateur will get only the cheap and not so strong built ones.
It is about the equipment tripods have to deal with, so for example a professional photographer may have professional tripods for lighting equipment and a not so expensive one for camera.
It is about the needs, not about the kind of photographer you consider yourself.
You may need a tripod for your smart phone or a small compact camera, in which case a small tabletop tripod will do it.
If you need one for your DSLR or mirrorless camera it will be fine a travel tripod.
For heavy equipment you’ll be doing better with studio tripods.
Writing about tripods, why and if you need one is general idea of my today’s article. If you are happy enough with your results and you’re just looking to take pictures for nice memories and share with friends and family, then maybe you do not need one.
If you want the best your camera can offer, then you definitely should go for it. I hope you enjoyed the article and found it helpful.