A tripod is an essential piece of equipment for professional-quality landscape photography. Sharp focus and thoughtful compositions come from slowing down the process. A successful photo lead the viewer’s eye into the scene without distraction, requiring everything be in focus. (Remember, for maximum depth-of-field, use the smallest aperture, and focus one-third from the foreground to the horizon.)
When searching for photo opportunities please remember the Leave No Trace ethic. In the wilderness avoid walking off-trail into areas with a thin black crust growing on the soil. This cryptobionic layer stabilizes fragile desert soil and takes decades to heal from a boot mark. Avoid accelerating erosion in these sensitive areas by walking on rocks and solid surfaces. Leave everything like you found it, and if necessary, erase any evidence of your passage.