1. Turn off your image stabilization. This actually relates to your lens/camera and not your actual tripod. Image stabilization is a small motor that runs in either your lens (typically) or your camera body to help balance out the natural movement in your hands when you shoot hand-held. It’s great for shooting hand-held, but when you put your camera on a tripod, it’s not moving anymore. So now you have a motor that IS moving, but it’s not counteracting anything any more… The difference is minute, but turn it off anyway – it can’t hurt :). Where can you find it? This is typically a switch on the front of your lens that says something like: VR (vibration reduction) ON/OFF, Stabilizer ON/OFF or IS ON/OFF.
2. Take extra time to make sure your tripod is stable. This seems obvious, but sometimes working with your tripod is a bit of an adjustment nightmare. If you don’t pay attention to stability though you risk losing your camera to a nasty tumble, and we can assure you – it’s not worth it! We also find that at some point you’re going to want to fix this issue because it will drive you crazy if your photo is off-centered or if your tripod is unstable, so just fix it in the beginning. Did you know that you can help improve the stability of your lens by adding a weight to your tripod? Hanging your camera bag off this handy little hook will help to weigh your tripod down (especially useful when it’s windy!).
3. Tighten your plate first. To attach your camera to your tripod you will need to use a plate. Given that this is the MAIN point of connection between your camera and your tripod please take the time to make sure that this plate is VERY securely connected. We mean VERY securely connected. Depending on the type of plate you have, we find it very helpful to have a coin in our camera bags that we can use to tighten and release our plate when we need to. Be prepared and your camera will thank you for it!