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A Video Tutorial from Phil Steele – How to Use Your Tripod

Previously, I have given you some tips on how to select and buy the right tripod for you. In this video from Phil Steele, he goes over some of the same things and goes on to give some additional tips on how to use your tripod correctly. Some of this may seem overly simple but trust me, it's not necessarily intuitive knowing how to use a tripod. I've seen it done wrong many times, which can mean possible disaster for your camera.

How to choose and use a tripod

What kind of tripod do you use? Do you have the flip style legs or the rotating ones? I personally have some of each for different purposes.

  • I have an older model Manfrotto with a 3-way head (like Phil demonstrated in the video) and aluminum legs with the clip locks. It is more durable and steady, but it's also bulky and heavy and is for studio or stationary use mostly.
  • Then I have a carbon-fiber ProMaster tripod with a ball head and twist-style leg locks. It's smaller and lighter but pretty durable.
  • I also have a smaller travel tripod, (the ProMaster Professional XC528C Carbon Fiber Tripod) that folds up onto the center column and packs down to about 14″ long.
  • Finally, I have a Joby Gorillapod (the largest Focus SLR version you can get it with or without a tripod head) that is handy for smaller cameras and going places you can't go with a regular tripod.

So while you likely don't need four different tripods to serve your needs – make sure you get a good one, the right one for you.

If you want to learn more from Phil Steele, head over to his website where he has classes on Lightroom, Photoshop, Event Photography and more. He's a great educator, easy to follow and I'm sure you'll enjoy his courses.

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  • waynewerner

    Personally I love the ball head. I hate having a clip foot because it gets in the way when I’m not using the tripod

  • Eugene Shuler

    Very informative video. I personally learned a bit more than I ever knew about tripods. Thanks for the lesson.

  • Natalya Stone

    Great video. I wish I’d seen it a long time ago – I learnt about tripods fumbling around and making mistakes. I did love the secret tip at the end!

  • Darko Vidovic

    Thaks for all the excllent advice!

  • P James

    Excellent video and great information. Especially the most important tip at the end. Gotta get me one of those tripods… it’s a must to avoid disasters!

  • Very informative indeed! Following a few useful tips like the ones in this post will help you get there and to serve your needs.

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