Have you bought a new tripod with features you’ve used before? If pivoting centre columns and multi-angle legs are new to you, our quick guide to how to set up a tripod will have you ready to start shooting in no time.
Gone are the old days when a tripod was just three legs with a head for your camera stuck on the top. Many of the latest models have a large number of features that can seem a bit confusing at first.
However, using a tripod can add enormous versatility to your shooting, and enable you to react quickly to changing set-up requirements.
Manfrotto tripods often have a pivoting centre column that you can use in either regular upright orientation or as a horizontal boom.
Makes such as Benro, Giottos and Vanguard, meanwhile, offer a full 180° pivot facility, so you can use the centre column at almost any angle.
1 Clear obstacles
The ability to swing legs out at angles is useful on uneven terrain or around obstacles, and it’s also handy for low-level shooting.
2 Ultra-wide shooting
It’s easy for tripod legs to creep into the frame if using an ultra-wide lens. Rotate the centre column to extend the camera forwards.
3 Macro shots
Close-up shots are easier when you use the centre column as a boom. Hang a weight off the tripod to help stop it toppling over.
4 Get grounded
For ground-level shots, pivot the centre column 180°. If you lack this feature, you can usually remove and invert the centre column.