Tripods in filmmaking used to be a necessity due to the weight of older cameras. As cameras have become lighter and lighter, many new age filmmakers jump to the handheld shot immediately. And while there is a time and a place for the handheld shot, many critics have pointed out its overuse in cinema today. That being said, there has never been a better time to go back to basics and learn about the fundamentals of the tripod.

A tripod is a three-legged stand designed to support a camera. Cameras are mounted to a tripod, also referred to as “sticks,” for stability. Tripods utilize a fluid head. This also allows the camera to pan left and right or tilt up and down.

In still photography, tripods allow photographers to use slower shutter speeds for long exposure images while reducing the amount of camera shake.