Weekly Photo Tip #3: The First Photo Accessory You Should Buy? A Tripod, Of Course.

Use A Tripod!

Use A Tripod!

Just as a golfer with a good swing can hit ’em long and straight swinging beginner clubs, a photographer with good technique can make great photos with a phone camera or a simple point and shoot.

Technique trumps equipment, at least until you are reasonably advanced.

So my advice is to learn proper technique before you invest in expensive equipment.

But when you are ready to purchase some gear, my suggestion for your first acquisition is . . .

A tripod.

Buy a good tripod, mount your camera on it, and watch your photos get better.

Why are photos better when you use a tripod?

  1. Your photos will be sharper. There will be no subtle blur from camera motion. Unless you are doing something artsy that involves blur, you want your photos to be so sharp they could cut you.

  2. Tripods open up new types of photos you can take, such as long exposures. I will bet you have seen those neat photos of waterfalls where the water is blurred falling over the rocks which are in focus. Very cool. Light trails at night, where you set up your camera and shoot a long exposure that has lines created by lights from cars or something else but everything else in focus. Also very neat.

  3. Using a tripod slows you down. And that’s (usually) a good thing. It is so easy to raise our camera to our eye and fire away that, sometimes, we do this without really thinking about what we are doing. But when we slow down to set up our tripod, we use the time to think more about the photo we are shooting. What elements do I want in the shot? How do I want them arranged? What angle should I shoot them from? Which lens is best?

To summarize, as you are learning, concentrate on learning the techniques of photography, but when you are ready to invest in more equipment, make a tripod your first purchase.

[Note: Unfortunately, that is not me in the photo at the top, and I did not make the photo.]

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