If you’re an amateur photographer but pride yourself on getting the best shots possible, you may always be on the lookout for new gear. While it can be fun to upgrade your lenses or add various filters that can change the quality of your shots, you should also think about some basic elements of good photography — such as ensuring that your tripod is perfectly level. The tripod is a valuable tool for keeping your camera steady, especially when you’re shooting in a setting where the shutter will be open for a prolonged period of time — unless the tripod is level, you’ll be somewhat disappointed with your images. Here are some tools to add to your camera bag.
A camera-leveling tripod head is a small device that you affix to the top of your camera tripod; it features a mounting screw on the top that your camera can connect to. This device is valuable because it contains a small bubble of liquid that indicates when the top of the tripod is level. It works on the same principle as a level that a carpenter or other contractor carries. The leveling head, also occasionally known as a leveling base, is user-friendly; you simply adjust the tripod until the bubble gives you a level reading, and then you attach your camera.
Three or more small sandbags or beanbags — the latter is similar in size and style to the beanbags you might have played with as a child — are ideal to help ensure that your tripod is level. While you can adjust the tripod’s feet, there are often times in which you can’t quite get everything level simply through foot adjustments. By placing a sandbag or beanbag under one or more of the tripod’s feet, you can help get the tripod level and ensure that it stays that way.
Small Pieces Of Cardboard
A handful of small pieces of cardboard can play a similar role to the small sandbags in your mission to get your tripod perfectly level. Much like leveling a table by sliding a thin piece of folded cardboard under it, you can do the same thing with a tripod. The more you shoot and use your leveling head, the quicker you’ll be able to see that your tripod is slightly off-level and slide a piece of cardboard under one of the feet so that you can begin to shoot with everything level.