Literally, the bipod is a two legged support. It is used to steady the camera. (See also: Tripod and monopod).
The bipod is not often seen as an accessory for photographers. They are seldom used in camera work. They are most often used in shooting and for construction as crane legs. However, with thought, the bipod has great potential. Mostly, bipod use is restricted to adapting tripods for a specific purpose.
Most advanced tripods can be made to become bipods. Each leg must be able to articulate about the top independently and each must be able to be locked in place individually.
A bipod can be created when one leg of the tripod is left closed and un-extended. The other two legs are extended and opened as normal. The bipod configuration is then leaned against a wall or tree etc. This allows you to position your camera close against an object when a third leg would otherwise require some clearance.
Some tripods are able to point the third leg upwards/outwards. The third leg is able to adjust the distance the camera is able to stand off the wall/tree while the weight is supported on the other two legs.
Bipods are also used to crane a camera over a cliff or wall. A two legged rig (bipod) is topped with a camera in the normal way and the legs fixed to the vertical surface of the wall/cliff. A rope is fixed to the top joint of the bipod. The camera is lowered by the rope so it is sticking out over the side of the cliff. The camera is lowered in an arc out and away from the cliff side about the bipod legs.
Adjust the vertical angle of the camera’s optical axis relative to the scene by adjusting the angles. this is done by lowering or raising the bipod with the rope so the camera swings through an arc. Pull up the camera a little to angle the optical axis away from the cliff. Lower it a little to angle the optical axis toward the cliff.
Bipods are most commonly used for sharp shooting. The barrel of the gun is supported by a small bipod when aiming.
Photographic Glossary – Definitions, articles and resources…
Definition: Tripod Head
When is a tripod not a tripod?
Definition: Optical Axis
Definition: Optical Path
A simple introduction to tripod sharpness and tripod heads
Five tips you must know to start photography
Three Tips for Pin Sharp Shots with a Tripod
The Third Most Important Piece of Kit
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