SWEAT—5 Tips for Keeping Your Tripod Perfectly Still During Photoshoots
Tripods… They keep us centered… balanced… But every once in a while—even with a tripod—it’s almost impossible to get rid of the inevitable camera shake…
Blurry photos—gross! Nobody likes a blurry photo—unless you’re going for a whole avant-garde thing…
Eliminating Tripod Camera Shake with SWEAT
Tony & Chelsea Northrup have an incredible channel on YouTube where they show inexperienced and professional photographers alike tips and tricks on navigating the photography world with ease.
Recently, they released a video where Chelsea introduced us to the acronym SWEAT—an acronym so easy to remember, you’ll never have to worry about tripod camera shake ever again!
For those of you unable to watch the video, here’s what SWEAT stands for:
- Surface — If you’ve ever been taking photographs on an unstable surface—in Chelsea’s case, a boardwalk with people walking across it—you know how tough it can be to capture a long exposure shot. So make sure that you’re paying attention to the surface you’re setting your tripod on.
- Wind — Wind can be a photographer’s worst nightmare for multiple reasons, but it can be bad news for your tripod, too. If you’ve got a heavy camera on top, the slightest bit of wind could send your expensive piece of camera equipment tumbling over. So make sure to weigh the base of your tripod down with something like a sandbag, or even a heavy backpack. But beware of the stabilizer hook that some tripods have, where wind can blow around whatever you’re using as a weight to stabilize your camera.
- Extension — If you’ve got the center column on your tripod completely extended as well as all three legs, your tripod just isn’t going to be as stable as you’d like. So keep that center column down, and extend only the legs, leaving the thinnest legs for last since they’re not as stable as the rest.
- Action — Pressing down on the shutter is an action you probably want to avoid when taking a long exposure shot. Any action that involves touching your camera will cause the camera to shake. So if you need to press down that shutter button, use a 5-second shutter delay—or better yet, use a remote trigger to keep those hands off your camera entirely!
- Tighten — Make sure everything on your tripod is tightened down! The head, legs AND quick release plate should all be tightened to avoid any unwanted camera shake during your shots.
So next time you’re shaking your head, wondering why you’re camera just won’t sit still despite the expensive tripod you bought, just remember this handy dandy acronym: SWEAT—It just might save the shot!