Photography Phactoids number 006.
Buying a decent tripod can be quite taxing. Getting a quality result requires a quality tripod. Many photographers do not realise how important the tripod head is that fits on top of a good tripod. Today we have included a new article in our Photographic Glossary that explains all about tripod heads, how they work and the different types.
Photographic accuracy and sharpness
It is surprising how accurate your photography becomes as you develop. After all, improving your sharpness (see: The Zen of sharpness – 12 easy ways to improve) is about tightening up your camera control and minimising any movement in the process of taking the shot.
Most starter photographers rarely use a tripod. After a while they realise that the softness they suffer is down to poor control of the camera and lack of a tripod. What they do not realise is that a poor tripod is as bad as no tripod at all. I know many, many people who have bought cheap and then had to buy again – because with tripods, cheap is rubbish!
Well, the same can be said of tripod heads. A poor piece of engineering on a tripod head, or one that is too flimsy will give you as many problems as a poor tripod. Almost certainly you will get poor accuracy, bad alignment, wobble, poor locking and damage. Working to improve your sharpness is about being accurate, tightly controlled and stable in all aspects of the shot – including the tripod and tripod head combination. When everything is tight and there are no weak links you can expect tight and sharp photographs.
Make sure you understand about tripod heads… they are an essential item. You may have a great tripod, but a poor head will let the whole combination down.
See: Definition: Tripod Head for a detailed examination of how the heads work, the different types and some example pictures.