ArchTool 3 – Tripod

The Tripod

This is one tool that you don’t want to scrip on, as my grandmother used to say, “buy once and buy well.”

OK, so what’s the deal, first I’m telling you buy an inexpensive SLR and now I’m telling you to buy a really good tripod.  What’s up with this?

Well here’s the straight talk.

A Canon or Nikon SLR camera at any price point will give you very good to great results and your photography will improve as your technique improves over time.  A tripod, which is totally a mechanical device will only ever be as good as the day you bought it.

I highly recommend the Vanguard Alta Pro 263AGH Aluminum Tripod with GH-100 Pistol Grip Ball Head.

Amazon $199

41KfQ+hGRPLGrip HeadVanguard Alta Pro 263AGH 2

In the lab

You will use the Alta Pro in this configuration with the pistol grip attached.

Alta Pro

You will also need a stone bag to offset the weight of the camera on the arm.  I recommend Vanguard SB-100 Stone Bag.

Amazon $15

Stone Bag 2

A couple of bricks (readily available from most dig sites!) in the bag will keep things on an even keel.

In the Field

The Alta Pro is great for taking all types and angles of pictures.

Alta Pro Low Angle 2


Low angle.


Alta Pro Low Angle 3


Extremely low angle.

Alta Pro Low Angle

Pretend the flowers are an important artifact!

Alta Pro Low Angle close detail

Imagine the pipe is a get unseen wall mural!

Alta Pro Low Angle 4

Here is an import date that will establish this as the first walkway ever built in the New World!

Now if you budget can support two tripods I recommend the Vanguard Alta Pro 283CGH 3-Section Carbon Fiber Tripod with GH-100 Grip Head, Load Capacity 13.22 lb.

Adorama $399

It has carbon fiber legs that make it very light weight for trekking into the field.

More Coming Soon!

Site under construction


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