TRIPOD MISHAPS CAN be epic. We don’t really think about how much trust we’re putting in those three legs until something awful happens, but you are literally entrusting thousands of dollars of gear to them. That’s reason enough to take tripod selection seriously. I never realized until I sat down to write this guide just how much of my knowledge about photography comes from having made some sort of grievous error. Oh well. My loss is your gain . . .

For my first trip to Costa Rica I knew it was time to get a smaller, lighter weight travel tripod. Having done minimal research, I headed straight for a camera store (this ...

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