Use a Tripod to Help With Composition
Too often people discount using a tripod because they feel that with faster film they can hold the camera steady enough by hand — after all, their pictures look sharp enough when the get them developed. Whether or not a tripod will indeed help make your images sharper could likely be a future topic, but to start out this series of weekly tips, what I want to talk about is composition.
Using a tripod allows you the luxury of slowing down and actually looking at what you are doing before you snap the shutter. Is there a tree branch hanging into the frame that you could remove by moving slightly to the left? Is the horizon level? Is the placement of the subject in the frame where you really want it? If you take two steps to the left can you line up the reflection better with the shape of the lake? What about depth of field? It's just not really possible to handhold a camera perfectly stationary long enough to check all these things.
We all check our pictures after we get them developed, but a tripod allows you to do so before you trip the shutter.