They provide stability against downward forces and lateral movements along the horizontal axes, and have remained largely unchanged in design since, well, pretty much forever. They’re so universal, that H.G. Wells based his alien creature design after them in War of the Worlds.
Tripods are built to hold things like machine guns, surveyor’s tools, telescopes, and of course…. cameras.
Tripods are an essential piece of photography gear for many shooters. Landscape photographers love them. They curl up next to them in the tent at night while dreaming of the spectacular light that they hope to capture in the morning. Most would probably rather have their car stolen than their tripod.
I’ve written a number of tripod buying guides and comparisons here on the blog, but what I haven’t done yet is write a “How to use tripods in the field” type article.
Fortunately, I don’t have to. My friend Carl Battreal, who’s shot landscapes all over Alaska in varying conditions, terrain and weather, has just written a post on his blog called Tips for Using Ultra-Lightweight Tripods in the Field.
Definitely check it out. He knows a thing or two about using tripod and has some valuable tips for using them in real life outdoor photography situations.
Also, spend some time checking out the imagery on his main site, Photograph Alaska.