You’ve chosen your tripod and you’ve purchased a good quality one. Solid but not to heavy (always a compromise). If you haven’t you can find some good ones here Tripod for Camera And when choosing a tripod think about the type of photography you’ll be doing and allow for those big telephoto lenses for sports or wildlife photography.
All camera tripods tend to be quite simple to operate and it takes only a few minutes to become accustomed with all the controls and settings. But do you actually use one and what camera settings should you consider?
Shooting on a high shutter speed is great for hand held shots but if you have a tripod, the need for speed is reduced. And you want as low an ISO setting as possible. Obviously there’s a trade-off depending upon if the subject is moving and/or moving quickly.
When taking night shots or low light shots, lower ISO numbers reduce the time the shutter is open and produce higher quality images.
Not to High
Opening the tripod all the way up is not always necessary or ideal. When the tripod is at its maximum, that’s when it’s at its least stable. So only open the tripod up as far as you have to. Lower means more stable
Ideally a remote shutter release is the way to go, they’re not too expensive these days. Failing that there mechanical shutter releases that press the shutter release button for you while not introducing any camera vibration.
If don’t have or have forgotten the shutter release device then you’ll have to press the camera’s button manually. Not idea as that will introduce a slight shake. The way to deal with this is put the camera into a delay (normally used for selfies). This one or two second delay in taking the shot means that any vibration introduced has gone once the picture is taken.
When the camera is on a tripod there shouldn’t be any vibration. But if there is the camera’s stabilization tries to compensate. Which itself, introduces a tiny vibration.
So when the camera’s on a tripod, turn off image stabilization – you don’t need it.
Lock the Mirror
If you have an SLR (more properly a dSLR, these days). Then you camera will have a mirror. As you take a shot the mirror flipping up, despite the damping added by the camera manufacturer, it will introduce a small vibration. And you want to avoid that.
Fortunately most SLR cameras will allow you to lock the mirror up so that only the shutter moves as the photo is taken.