If you look at the technical data accompanying my photographs, you'll notice that almost all of them are created using a tripod. That's because a tripod is one of the best tools that you can use to improve the quality of your photographs.
Using a tripod helps in several ways. First, it virtually eliminates vibrations caused by your hands (using a cable release for exposure control reduces vibrations even further). Vibrations are one of the most common causes of unsharp images. Second, using a tripod slows you down somewhat. How, you ask, does that help to improve your photos ?? Well, taking the camera out of your hands makes you pay more attention to composition and camera settings such as shutter speed and depth of field, making you less prone to errors. Also, let's not forget that when the camera is on a tripod, any shutter speed, no matter how slow, is possible, provided that your subject is not moving. This makes low-light photography possible with even the slowest of films. And, since that slow shutter speed is not a problem, you are free to maximize your depth-of-field by using a small aperature such as f22 or f32.
When a tripod is not practical for weight or space considerations, think about using one of the following gadgets:
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