Most photographers know that the tripod is an indispensable tool for capturing long exposures but so often I see it used in an unstable manner. Most tripods have a center column that can be raised to offer an even higher vantage point for your camera. The problem is that the higher the column is raised, the more unstable your camera becomes.
Think of it like a tall skyscraper. As it reaches further up into the sky, it actually moves from side to side as a result of the wind. This is the same effect that you can get from raising your center column. And though you won’t get a 16′ side to side motion like the Sears Tower, you will get enough motion to add a soft blur to your image, especially on a windy day. To ensure that you are getting the maximum stability from your tripod, keep the column all the way down so that the camera is resting at the apex of the tripod legs. This position will provide maximum stability for your camera and help you to get tack-sharp images.