Do Tripods Affect How Sharp a Picture Is? Yes!

The Accessory Photographers Love to Hate Can Also Improve Your Compositions

by Kerry Drager

Whirling Colors 1a
Whirling Colors 1a
© Kerry Drager
All Rights Reserved

Do Tripods Affect How Sharp a Picture Is? Tripods can mean better photos...Right Now!

The tripod:
  • Opens up a dramatic, non-flash world of low light.

  • Permits the creative blurring of moving subjects with a super-slow shutter speed.

  • Allows the use of small apertures to attain a deep depth of field (the range of sharpness from front to back in a photo) - regardless of the lighting conditions.

  • Lets you use a low-ISO film or low-ISO digital equivalent to achieve the very best in image quality.

Ancient Bristlecone Pine 2a
Ancient Bristlecone Pine 2a
© Kerry Drager
All Rights Reserved

Tripods Help Beef Up Your Compositions, Too!

But equally important is the composition factor, since a tripod encourages photo-making discipline. Here's more:

Using a three-legged support forces you to slooooow down, analyze the scene, and consider how you want to shoot it. The tripod then allows you to carefully compose your picture so you can get it exactly the way you want it.

If a cloud obscures the sun or an unwanted person walks into your scene, you can wait for things to improve while your carefully thought-out composition stays put.

Finally, locking your camera into place also lets you fine-tune the composition ... just a little bit more!

About Author / Instructor / Photographer, Kerry Drager
Photography Instructor: Kerry Drager
Kerry Drager is a professional photographer, teacher and writer who is also the co-author of two books: The BetterPhoto Guide to Creative Digital Photography and The BetterPhoto Guide to Photographing Light. He has taught many photography courses (online and in person), seminars and field workshops.

Be sure to check out Kerry's website -

Also, he is the author of Scenic Photography 101, the photographer of the photo-essay books The Golden Dream: California from Gold Rush to Statehood and California Desert , a contributor to the books BetterPhoto Basics and Daybreak 2000, and a co-photographer of Portrait of California. In addition, Kerry was profiled in the April 1994 issue of Outdoor Photographer magazine and in Vik Orenstein's 2010 book The Photographer's Market Guide to Building Your Photography Business, and his website was showcased in the January 2003 issue of Shutterbug magazine. Plus, his work has appeared in magazines, Hallmark cards and Sierra Club calendars, and in advertising campaigns for American Express and Sinar Bron Imaging.

Also follow Kerry on Facebook, where he posts photos several times a week that include shooting tips and thoughts.

Kerry lives with his wife, Mary, on California's Central Coast, with their three Newfoundland dogs, four cats, and a mixed terrier.