Enhancing Your Tripod With Some Accessories

To obtain a stable camera for long exposures, the tripod is only part of the overall picture. There are many accessories to add to your tripod to make your photographic life easier and to make your images even sharper.

When you purchase your camera it will come with a standard 1/4″-20 screw socket for mounting to the tripod, this is somewhat inconvenient if you need to quickly mount the camera to the tripod.

Selecting a Tripod


I do prefer a tripod in many situations. Some examples of where I find a tripod useful and in some cases essential are as follows:

When using a long telephoto lens.
With Macro photography a tripod can greatly increase your success rate.
Where you want to carefully frame an image, a tripod is very useful, especially for landscape images.
Long time exposures require a tripod. Sometimes I may use a 10-stop Neutral Density (ND) filter for water scenes, resulting in exposures several minutes long.
Night photography. Even though cameras now can use extremely hig ISO settings a tripod can be very handy for night images and is essential for star images at night.

Water Movement Photography

Natural Bridge Falls

The movement of water can help to create interesting images. In order to capture images such as these it is essential to use a tripod, as shutter speeds close to 1 second or greater will be required. Generally a shutter speed of 1/8 of a second will start to blur the moving water, but with a tripod any shutter speeds up to 1/2 minute can be tried.

Long Exposures


Long ExposuresLong exposure photography is generally refered to when the photographer uses shutter speeds greater than can be hand held and still get sharp images. There are several options to turn to when this occurs.
Image Stabilization or Vibration Reduction which is built into some lenses, will assist in allowing the use of longer exposure times, in some circumstances this can be by the equivalent of three to four stops. This means that a shutter speed which would normally 1/100 of a second hand held could be extended to possibly 1/10 or 1/5 of a second, using one of these lenses. Image stabilization lenses compensate for the movement of the camera and lens by moving an element inside the lens to stabilize for any movement of the image at the sensor plane. Image stabilization or vibration reduction can be very usefull in longer lenses from 100mm and upwards.

Remote Releases

Would you like to capture a full frame image of a dangerous creature or a shy animal or bird. It is quite easy if you use a remote camera release. Today there are many types of remote releases available for cameras, there are cable releases, infra red or radio controlled releases. There are also many types on remote triggering devices to automatically trigger your camera as an animal or bird approaches.