What exactly is a tripod ball head and how does it work? In this video, professional nature photographer, Ian Plant, will show you how to use the ball head. The tripod ball head has three basic features. A primary knob for moving your camera around on the tripod. A friction knob in order to clamp the ball head tighter or looser, depending on how much camera movement you prefer. And a pan knob that lets you fully rotate the ball head for the optimum camera position.