How to use the camera with a tripod – stable camera helps to achieve sharper images

How to use camera with tripod

Tripod use sounds pretty simple but there are a few important things that you should take into consideration when using one. To start, how to use the camera with a tripod so that it stays stable and safe. Your camera is generally worth considerably more money than the tripod so you want to make sure it is very stable.

Attaching tripod plate to camera

Most tripods come with a quick attach camera to tripod plate. There is a lever on your tripod where you can remove and lock this plate. Check your manual if you have difficulty removing this plate.  Different models of tripods have on occasion a different release mechanism.  But for the most, they are a horizontal slide and some have a secondary lock to prevent accidental release.

Once you find out how your particular models release works, remove the plate.  Flipping your camera over, look on the bottom there you will find a threaded spot where you can thread your tripod plate to.  Make sure that this is tightened very snuggly and also watch that you put it squarely on the bottom of your camera.  Generally there is a manufacturer line or something that you can eye up so that you can square it off to.







Familiarize yourself with the tripod release attach mechanism

Now that you have the plate mounted to your camera, set up your tripod and test how it works (before going out into the field to photograph) so that you are familiar and can attach and release your camera from your tripod fairly quickly if needed without thinking about how this works.

Off to find something to photograph

So now that you are comfortable on how you can attach and release your camera from you tripod it is time to find something to photograph using your tripod for stability.

Start by finding your image composition first

It takes a bit more time to set up a tripod verses hand held shots, so finding your ideal composition position hand held first, by looking through your viewfinder, and at it from different angles and heights will help. Once you find the spot its time to set up your tripod.

Setting the legs

Once you have found where you want to take you photograph from. Now extend the legs on your tripod if you have not yet done so.

Position your camera on your tripod, adjust the height, zoom and angle if needed, to frame in the image your are envisioning. Take your shot.

A tidbit about shooting while standing on a hillside when you are wanting to use your tripod.

Something that will help keep you and your camera steady, is to have one leg of your tripod in front and two at the back, and adjusting the legs height accordingly to get the head of the tripod level. The reason for having on leg in front of the lens helps to balance the weight of the camera and lens over the center of the tripod legs, this greatly helps to keep the camera steady and has less of a chance to fall over easily.

Mounting larger DSLR cameras in portrait orientation

Using what is called an “L” bracket mounted to your camera (like the tripod plate) Will keep your camera balanced and centered over the three legs an as such keeping the center of gravity in the center of the tripod.

The “L” bracket base can be left on the camera all the time and be slid into a receiver plate on the tripod, both in horizontal and vertical orientation. Check my reviews for a bit more detail on this soon.

Lens collars

When you use long lenses, they generally come with a lens collar  but if they do not, you will want to get one, again to keep the camera and lens balance over the tripod legs.

These collars have a foot that have one sometimes two threaded holes that you can mount a tripod plate to.

See the top image of my camera mounted on the tripod with the tripod plate attached to the collar leg of the lens.

Its all about balance and keeping your camera stable so that you can achieve the best results possible for capturing those amazing and sharp images.

13 thoughts on “How to use the camera with a tripod – stable camera helps to achieve sharper images

  1. I recently bought the AmazonBasics tripod and it’s really good value.
    I also like the built-in spirit level – simple idea, but so effective.
    Thanks for an interesting and informative post.

    1. I am happy that you found my information helpful. Yes a spirit levels is great unfortunately my main tripod does not have one so I use a cube hot shoe level that works great too. I will do a review on that down the road.
      Thanks for visiting.

  2. Hi Monika,

    Great post. I have a couple of tripods and hardly ever use them. I only use my iphone for my videos but need to get a decent camera soon. The tips you give are great as I never really thought about the centre post/leg of the tripod.

    I must get my tripods out now and play with them haha!

    Thanks again, Kev

    1. Thanks for your kind comments. I am hoping that my information will help to get people out and experiment and enjoy the art of photography.
      So go find that tripod of yours and your camera and go out have some fun and capture some amazing images.

    1. Nice to find another photography NUT… I am to.. ha ha…
      Oh when every you have low light situations, a tripod is a must to help you capture shots. I enjoy night photography also. Need to get out a do some more soon.
      Thanks for dropping by my site.

  3. Hi Monica,
    thank you for providing this information. I own a Sony A6300 and use a tripod whenever I am using my 25-600mm lens. Without it, I can’t really capture the photo quality that I would like due to lens shake. Thanks for explaining the different parts of the tripod. Hard to believe that I didn’t know some of the technical names having been using one for many years now. Anyway, thanks again for your useful information.

    1. Hi Jerome,

      Thanks for your comments… Wow a 25 – 600mm Nice range… Yes I agree that when using a lens of that size it is definitely a good idea to use a tripod. That would definitely be a great wildlife lens… The longest I currently have is a 150 – 400mm 4.5-5.6 that I use on my Nikon D300s on tripod. I have heard great reviews about the Sony A6300. Is this the first SLR style camera you have shot?

  4. Tripod is one of the best gadget to invest if you are really serious about landscape photography. I used Monfrotto; it’s affordable and really sturdy. I’ve taken pictures with it on hills, beaches and parks and the outcome have been rewarding.

    However, I am actually looking for something smaller and less bulky as I am planning to travel more often this year. What brand would you recommend from your experience? Thanks.

    1. Hi Cathy

      Yes if your serious about landscape photography and sturdy tripod is a must. I am a big fan of Manfrotto tripods they are well built and have a style to fit most every need. There are other brands, but I favor Manfrotto.

      In regards to a travel sized one. Manfrotto has a nice compact and sturdy unit.

      Here is a link to my page. Please check it out

      It is the light weight element traveler.

      I myself will be adding this one to my travel bag.

      I hope this helps. Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.

    2. Hi Cathy,
      Thanks for checking out my site. Yes a tripod is a very helpful tool when capturing landscapes. Keeping your camera stable helps to ensure that your images are as clear and sharp as possible. Also if you do anything more creative like timed exposures or HDR you will diffinately require one.
      I have a number of Manfrotto tripods and I am very happy with them all. Manfrotto makes a nice sturdy compact travel tripod
      I hope this helps. Let me know your thoughts and feel free to contact me if you have any further questions or comments.

  5. I really like taking pictures, but I know nothing about photography! This website is so informative and touches in so many areas. Thank you for all the wonderful information! My daughter said there is no hope for me… perhaps now I can show her that you can teach an old dog new tricks! Thank!


    1. Hi Clay, I am very happy that you finding my site has opened up your interest in photography.
      Just taking on a few new steps at a time and soon you will get a new handle on understanding
      your camera.
      If there is every anything specific I can help you with feel free to add additional comment and
      I will help you along your journey.

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