Correctly aligning a photograph to create the best composition possible can often be a far harder task than is imaginable for someone whose hands may not be the strongest and steadiest.

Even if you have a grip like steel, anyone that has stood for even a couple of minutes with a camera in their hands waiting for the sun to set knows how painful it can be.

No matter what type of photography you're interested in, a camera tripod is one of those essential pieces of equipment you must always have to hand. Below, we've listed a few of our favourite camera stand tricks and tips to help you make the most of that vital piece of equipment...

1. Adjust the Leg Height Before Extending Them

If you're shooting on level ground, adjust the legs before you position the tripod. The only way you'll know for sure that the legs are all the same height is to adjust them before you actually spread them out.

Of course, you'll still want to check that the camera is level using a spirit level, if possible.

2. Use the Centre Post to Keep the Camera Level

The centre post is a great way to check that your camera is level if you don't have a spirit level. Just make sure it's perpendicular to the ground.

Since the central post is not as solid as the legs, it's best to only use it for fine adjustments rather than to hold up the camera.

3. Always Spread Out the Legs Fully

Wherever possible, spread the legs fully. If you want to get a shot that's low to the ground, you might have to adjust the legs as far out as possible, so they're almost flat to the ground. This still guarantees more stability than any other method.

4. Go as Low to the Ground as Possible

The higher you set up the tripod, the more wobbly it will be. Use the minimum height you need to capture the shot without compromising on stability.

5. Point the Front Tripod Leg at Your Subject

Many photographers prefer to point one tripod leg towards their subject and keep two legs behind. Since you'll be doing a lot of the work from behind the camera, having two legs creates a bit more stability.

It also helps you stand close to the camera without being obstructed.

6. Put Two Tripod Legs Forward on Downhill Slopes

Naturally, you should place two of the tripod legs wherever the tripod needs most stability. On a downhill slope, make sure two tripod legs are pointed forward to add more stability to the set-up.

7. Use a Tripod for Close-Up Shots

People commonly think of using tripods for landscape or cityscape photographs, but very few people think to use them for close-up shots.

In fact, close-up photography demands a lot of skill, with even minor movements of the camera being recorded as blurry images. A tripod will help eliminate that unwanted movement and deliver a crisper image altogether.

If you're shooting a close-up portrait, point the front tripod leg towards the subject and adjust the height of the tripod so it sits just above the subject's face.

8. Think Outside the Camera

We normally associate tripods with cameras and video recorders to capture smoother images. However, your tripod can be much more than that, serving as a light stand that's capable of holding flash units, reflectors, and so much more.

9. Keep Your Tripod Steady with a Weighted Bag

Windy conditions often pose a strong threat to knock your tripod down. Adding a weight as simple as a small bag of rocks (you can even use your camera bag) to the centre post in your tripod can help give the contraption more stability.

10. Balance Out Heavy Lenses with a Tripod Collar

Sometimes, a heavy lens is enough to throw off the centre of gravity and topple your tripod. A tripod collar is a simple tripod accessory that helps redistribute the weight and ensure your camera is protected.

11. Use Rubber Grips in the Rain

In photography, you'll notice some of the best photographs are taken in unpleasant weather conditions, including the rain.

In these circumstances, you'll want to protect your camera - and your tripod - even further. Attaching rubber grips to your tripod legs is an easy way to give it a bit more resistance on the slippery ground.

Camera House stocks a wide range of tripods, monopods and tripod accessories. Build yourself a truly worthy camera kit by shopping our range today for flat-rate delivery Australia-wide!