How to make an instant photo tripod counterweight

Atlantic breakwater, Pawleys Island, 2013. (Copyright 2013 / Andrew Boyd)

Atlantic breakwater, Pawleys Island, 2013. (Copyright 2013 / Andrew Boyd)

I was out shooting in the very, very early morning today on the Atlantic shoreline here at Pawleys Island, S.C., and a big wind and rain storm was blowing in. And the wind was truly howling–20 to 25 knots steady with higher gusts. The rain was just beginning to splatter and I had a Fotosharp rain cover over my camera, but the force of the wind reminded me of an old and useful trick: hang your heavy camera bag off your tripod’s center control arms to gain needed stability.

I carry a big Domke F2 canvas camera bag, and it’s heavy. In these conditions that’s a good thing–the thought of my expensive Canon gear taking a hard dive into wet sand is a terrifying thought! Holding tightly to my Tiltall tripod, I got my shot composed and then slung the Domke bag off  one of my center pan/tilt arms. Presto! Instant peace of mind.

When the wind is really howling, your camera bag can make an excellent counterweight. Here my Domke F2 canvas bag is doing a great job in an early-morning blow. That's a 12" Fotosharp rain cover over the rig. (Copyright 2013 / Andrew Boyd)

When the wind is really howling, your camera bag can make an excellent counterweight. Here my Domke F2 canvas bag is doing a great job in an early-morning blow. That’s a 12″ Fotosharp rain cover over the rig. (Copyright 2013 / Andrew Boyd)

Hi, I’m Andrew Boyd, a.k.a. The Discerning Photographer, and I hope this post has been interesting and informative. Please leave me a comment about it, let me know what you’d like to see more of on the site! You can also sign up for email delivery of all future articles or my RSS feed. Or subscribe to our Facebook page or our Twitter feed. Thanks!–DiscerningPhotog

Posted in: Equipment

About the Author:

Photographer, videographer and photo editor. Host and creator of The Discerning Photographer web site. Currently a Canon shooter.

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