When you want to make sure that your photos will be completely free from camera shake, you’ll put your camera on a tripod. However, even then, there are certain factors that could cause your tripod to shake and leave you with blurry photos. In this video, Tony & Chelsea Northrup share a checklist of five things to remember to keep your tripod perfectly stable. They even made up an acronym for it to help you remember it: SWEAT.
Chelsea admits that the acronym is kinda corny, but hey, it can still help you remember the checklist better. And here’s what “SWEAT” stands for:
- Surface – pay attention that the surface on which you’re putting your tripod is stable. For example, if you’re shooting on a boardwalk, people walking across it will cause the surface to shake. The same goes for bridges, which shake from the traffic going over them. If the tripod is in the water, its movement could also cause the shake. At long exposures, all these movements will be visible. So, keep the surface in mind when setting up your tripod.
- Wind – if the wind is blowing, it can cause your tripod to shake and even tip it over. This is why you should add weight to your tripod, be it your backpack, a sandbag, or an alternative solution such as Rock Bar.
- Extension – if all the legs and the center column are extended on your tripod, it makes it less stable than it could be. So, put the center column down and only extend the legs. Also, extend the thinnest legs the last because they’re the least stable. Finally, extend all the legs evenly.
- Action – this is not as exciting as it sounds: “action” refers to the action you perform when shooting. For example, pressing the shutter may cause some camera shake. To avoid this, use a 5-second shutter delay or a remote trigger. Also, when your camera is on a tripod, turn off the image stabilization.
- Tighten – if you don’t want a wobbly and shaky tripod, make sure everything is tightened properly. Tighten the tripod head, the legs, and the quick release plate.
To sum up, if you want perfectly sharp photos free from camera shake, just remember this acronym the next time you set up your tripod, and don’t sweat it. : )
[Don’t RUIN your tripod photos! | Tony & Chelsea Northrup]