Milky Way panorama over Tin Can Bay Image Julie Hartwig Photography
By Julie Hartwig, Tin Can Bay Camera Club
For the serious photographer, tripods and monopods are invaluable because they provide a means of stabilising the camera when shooting in conditions where camera shake is likely, such as when using heavy lenses and in low light conditions.
Tripods are often used by landscape photographers for capturing long exposure shots and when shooting in low light conditions such as night and astrophotography.
Tripods can vary from heavy monstrosities to ultra-light carbon fibre travel tripods. These often have one leg that can be detached and used as a monopod, two for one and a very useful facility!
Another benefit of a tripod is that it also allows a degree of hands-free operation. If buying a tripod, ensure it is suitable for the weight of your camera, as a heavy camera on a flimsy tripod will still result in camera shake.
Monopods are less common and are often used by wildlife and sports photographers. They allow freedom of movement without the restrictions of a tripod, but still provide a means of stabilising the camera. They also double as a handy walking stick for hiking photographers!
If you don’t have either of these, you can utilise props that are around you, tables, walls, flat surfaces, virtually any item that does not move can help stabilise your camera, thereby allowing you to use the correct exposure to capture those special images.