How To Use Levels when Setting Up Photos

When taking photos, there can be nothing worse than having to work with an unlevel ground. The tripod won't stand up straight. Plus, there's a chance that the pictures can be crooked. But, photographers can always use levels when setting up photographs, and these will help them line up the tripod.

Step 1: Using Levels to Create Perfect Shots

For some panoramic shots, some photographers do tilt the camera a bit to create the impression that the camera is hanging from above. Yet, unless the goal of the photograph is create a tilted or bulging effect, the tripod needs to be straight. While these images can be interesting, photographers generally want pictures to be dead-on. This is where levels will help. The purpose of a level is to show users when something is even. Levels usually have bubbles in the center of yellow liquid.

The goal of the users is to keep working their tripod until the bubble is in the absolute center of the level. Most levels have two or three sets of level bubbles. Generally, this measures how level a surface is on both the vertical and horizontal lines. Tripods should be level with both of these measurements. If not, one side of the camera will be level while the other side is t.

Step 2: Making the Tripod Level

First of all, photographers should look for the most level ground that can be found in the area where they would like to shoot. Avoid things like rocks that stick out of the ground, places that are too marshy or where the tripod will just sink into the ground.

While solid surfaces work the best, they cannot always be found everywhere. But, photographers should still scout on the location until they find a fairly level surface. Once they do, they should set up the tripod. To ensure that the tripod is level with the ground, photographers should place the level on top of the stand. 

Once this is done, photographers should start adjusting the legs. Start with one and raise or lower it. If this doesn't make the tripod level, then move onto another one of the legs. Do this until the bubbles are all in the center. Then, the camera can be added to the tripod. Once the camera is on top of the tripod, photographers should go ahead and double-check to see if the tripod is still level. Sometimes the extra weight of the camera will cause the tripod to become just a tad off-balance.

Step 3: Invest in Good Equipment

Before photographers even go out to try and level out their tripod, they need to start with a good model. Tripods should have a bit of weight, and they should be extremely sturdy. Lightweight ones won't hold the camera very well. And, ones that are cheaply made could actually fall over or crumple under the weight of the camera. Also, photographers should invest in ones in which the head rotates fairly easily. This helps with moving the camera around to get panoramic shots or shots from different angles.