4 Quick Camera Tripod Setup Tips

Setting up a camera tripod looks easy, but as many professional photographers can testify, it is not. Tripods are usually fold-up, so while setting them up, you have to take a great deal of time and care to get them positioned correctly. Camera tripod set up is vital to your photography working well, and you should be able to put out your tripod correctly every time you use it.

Here are 4 tips to help you set up your tripod:

1. Practice, Practice

Before you even take your camera tripod out on a shoot, you should spend time practicing setting it up and packing it away. This will stop you from looking like an amateur on the shoot, and perhaps undermining your reputation. The professional photographer often has assistants who can get all this work done on his behalf, but if you are working on your own, then you will have to be very proficient in doing this. Set the tripod up in your house from a variety of positions, and test it to ensure that you have tightened it correctly. Once you can do this set up in a few minutes, you are ready to take it out on a shoot.

2. Take a Spare Allen Key

Tripods often screw into place, but some need to be fitted using a bolt-tightener known as an Allen key. This key is a small piece of bent metal, and not surprisingly, often gets lost. In order to help you in this situation, make sure that you always carry a spare. You can buy special versions which have a keyring attachment, and this can be kept on your car keys or door keys, so that you always have one available.

3. Get Your Legs Together

When you first unpack the tripod, the first thing that you should do is unfold and then straighten the legs. Check them for signs of damage each time you unfold them, as their endurance is vital to the tripod being able to support your camera. Then, take each of the legs, and extend them into the central column, so that they are sticking out on each corner. Tighten into position, so the column is now supported by the legs. You can then fit the body of the tripod, which will include the ball head and other parts of the column.

4. Put on Accessories Last

When you are fitting the tripod, make sure that you put on the tripod accessories last. Accessories put on before the legs are fitted can overbalance the tripod, so you don't get the correct placement of the legs. This can seriously affect the ability of the tripod to support the camera. When you are ready to fit the accessories, make sure that they are attached to the tripod first and then placed on the camera, so that the latter is not dragged out of balance.

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