As a landscape photographer my tripod gets put into some harsh conditions. Water, snow, sand, mud and dirt. You name it it has probably been put into it. Yes, even poo.......but that's a whole other story. Needless to say a tripod is one of the most important tools for a landscape photographer so keeping your tripod working smoothly is extremely important. So here is a little tip to help you do just that.
The lowest legs are extended so the water does not touch the leg locks
When setting up your tripod, extend your lowest leg section so that the element you are trying to avoid does not come in contact with the leg locks. During your session, do not collapse the lower section of your legs. This will help keep the bad element from being moved into your leg locks and farther up the next leg section. When done photographing, remove the tripod from the element and dry, wipe, or clean the lower leg section before collapsing the lower section into the next section. Bam! You just saved yourself a lot of time from having to clean grit/dirt/sand/water out from your leg locks. Your leg locks will thank you.
Use the angle stops at the top to lower your tripod while keeping the lower section out
So what do you do if you want to lower your camera closer to the ground? Most tripods these days come with angle stops at the top of the legs of the tripod. Use those to lower the tripod closer to the ground.
If you find yourself in a situation where your leg locks are getting in the elements anyway, such as in deep water or sand with wind, then still follow the same method if you can. Do not collapse your legs until you can clean them or let them dry. Thank you! (says your tripod leg locks!)
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Keywords: gear, j. silkstone photography, learning, maintenance, photographers, photography tip, tricks, tripod
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