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Why you need one
Tip on using one
Going Hand held

SONY DSR500 CAMERAPART 11: TRIPODS

by Christina Fox

Steady shots are essential to make your pictures look professional and keep you friendly with the picture editor. Wobbly pictures limit the editors choice of usable shots and are difficult to edit into and out of.

There are a huge range of tripods available. So, this section is pretty general - but hopefully still useful.

WITH A TRIPOD YOU CAN...

  • Take steadier shots every time, especially at the narrow angle end of the lens.
  • Ensure smoother camera movement (panning, tilting and pivoting).
  • Keep the camera level by use of the spirit level.

The disadvantage is that it will take you a little longer to set up the equipment, but at least all your shots will look better for it.

TIPS ON USING THE TRIPOD

  • Make sure the legs of the tripod are spread out as far as they will go. This makes it as stable as possible.
  • However, for safety you can use a tripod as a monopod by bringing all the legs up together. This way no-one will trip over it in a scrum.
  • Check the spirit level every time you move the tripod.
  • Set the pan and tilt frictionís so that they are about equal.
  • How much friction is personal preference - However, too little and shots will still wobble - too much and you'll be fighting with your tripod for control of the shot!
  • Adjust the panning handle so that it is comfortable for you to use. Again personal preference - but usually just on the droopy side of horizontal

IF YOU HAVE TO USE THE CAMERA HAND HELD...

  • Use the wider lens angles whenever possible (Narrow angle shots will accentuate camera shake)
  • Try and brace yourself against a solid object like a wall, street lamp or a car.
  • Stand with your feet slightly apart to steady yourself.
  • Breath slowly and gently.
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WORKING ALONE...
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Part 10: TROUBLE SHOOTING
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Christina Fox