Wildlife Photography Equipment: Tripod Heads

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When you are out in the elements tracking wildlife, the right wildlife photography equipment is essential. Big lenses can weigh up to 10 pounds. Hand-holding the camera is difficult. That’s why a quality tripod is of fundamental importance. In this video, professional nature photographer Ian Plant shares his wildlife photography tips on various tripod types with emphasis on the tripod head. Ian points out, “It’s the tripod head that lets you point your camera wherever you’d like.”

Among the experts of wildlife photography equipment, the preferred tripod head is a gimbal head. Designed to easily pan around, and rotate up and down, the gimbal head is formulated to stabilize your camera. Ian Plant calls the gimbal “one of the key pieces you need in wildlife photography equipment.”

Another option is the ball head. Compared with clunky, conventional, three-way tripod heads, the ball head tripod is more compact, quicker in use, and easier to set up. It has a leveling base to maintain the axis and is designed to pan. Panoramic photos become simpler because you can pan a specific number of degrees while keeping the head’s tilt position locked.

The monopod is a third option in wildlife photography equipment. The monopod functions like a tripod but with a single leg. This allows for quicker setups when you are tracking wildlife. Although not as stable as a tripod, the monopod takes the weight off your arms and allows more versatile ways to compose your picture.

What if you are working from a car or a boat? Ian chooses the bean bag. You place the bean bag over the car door edge, and support your camera on the bag. This creates a solid anchor for quickly shooting wildlife in spontaneous situations.

Enjoy the simple photography tips and tricks in this video and start improving your wildlife photography skills today!

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