David Johnston

The Tripod Hack for Lower Perspectives

David Johnston
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Duration:   3  mins

You’re a dedicated outdoor photographer, and you’ve learned that the tripod is your best friend. However, when it comes to intricate macro shots requiring you to go low to the ground, the tripod isn’t too friendly. What you might need is the tripod hack. In this video lesson, Outdoor Photography Guide’s professional nature photographer David Johnston helps you improve your macro photographs with the tripod hack.

David takes you to the forest floor for instruction on using the tripod hack when shooting small scene images like ferns, leaves and ground flowers. When going that low, the problem with tripods is the center column. It prevents you from getting close enough to the ground for that intimate shot. As David points out, background is an important element in macro photography, the main subject ideally popping out in the frame. In other words, the contrast difference created by focal length.

Enter the tripod hack. David demonstrates this method. Flip your tripod upside down so that the tripod head is now close to the ground. When you clamp the camera to the head, the camera is positioned upside down. Now you have the low perspective that lets you achieve contrast between your subject and the background. This is the tripod hack.

But wait a second. Now you are photographing your subject upside down, and that may look weird. How do you solve this problem? Simple. In post processing, you rotate your file image so that it’s right side up, and then you do the retouching.

Follow along in this quick video lesson, where Outdoor Photography Guide’s professional nature photographer David Johnston takes you down to the forest floor and shares his fast and easy hack to help you improve your macro images with the tripod hack.

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4 Responses to “The Tripod Hack for Lower Perspectives”

  1. John McCartney

    My tripod doesn't do this, but I carry a GorillaPod which works in these situations.

  2. Christopher Guerrieri

    Great hack. I use it all the time. My Monfroto requires “click” removal of some type of bottom stopper , then slide it in from the downside. It works great, but even my exposure info is upside down on the screen! But it works. Well done.

  3. Brent Collins

    Not all tripods are capable of this. This is sort of a misleading video.

  4. James Cavitt

    What tripod are you using

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