a few simple tricks

How to steady your camera without a tripod

Tripods aren't always available - sometimes you have to think on the fly...

Here are a few tried and true ways we’ve found to overcome situations where finding stability for that perfect shot isn’t as easy as you’d think. The main thing is to lean into what you’re doing and get creative with your surroundings. Try these tricks out and let us know how well they work for you!

Don't have a tripod? How about some string?

Although you might think this is a joke…we assure you it’s not. If you find yourself in a pickle, in need of a stable shot but without the proper equipment, find some string! The longer, the better.

Build a string monopod...

That’s right – you heard it here first. It’s the cheapest camera stabilization device we know of (besides leaning against a tree). Make a loop of string, place part of it underneath your foot and the other part through the bottom of your camera. The tension along the string between your foot and the camera will provide all the stability you need (if you don’t have anything to lean against or stabilize your hands on). You may look a little odd to the people around you, but do it with confidence and you’ll be awarded super MacGyver brownie points. Just remember, it’s not about how you look when you’re snapping a picture – it’s about getting that perfect shot. Don’t do it if you have horrible balance, but don’t give up on a shot on account of not having a tripod either.

Speaking of trees...

It should go without saying…but use your surroundings! If you’re taking images within a grove of trees, lean against a tree for stability. See if you can find a spot to rest your camera on and maintain an optimal angle while you’re at it. There’s no shame in using your environment to your advantage. If anything, it’s commendable.

If you have trees, use trees. If all you have is garbage cans, pinch your nose and rest your camera on top of one. You may hate it in the moment, but future you will be glad you thought quickly on your feet. Photographers don’t get points for being averse to germs – they get business for creating great images. Sometimes sacrifices must be made!

Get down low...

Are you in an empty space with nothing to lean up against? Don’t be afraid to get down on the ground. If you have to get your clothes dirty, so be it. Sit on the ground and cross your legs for stability – resting your camera on your upturned knees – bringing one arm back like you’re about to shoot an arrow with a bow – whatever it takes! You’re here to do what must be done to catalog the events happening around you. Get creative with whatever you have at your disposal. Sometimes this means getting creative with your posture.

Rotate your postures to reduce shaking...

Here’s an experiment for you – take your camera, hold it up to your eye, and KEEP YOUR ELBOWS IN! Although you may not be able to do it for very long without shaking, at least you have an alternative pose for keeping your elbows out when you take a shot. Make sure to rotate whatever you’re doing to give your muscles a rest. Most shaking happens from over-exerting particular muscles over a finite period of time. When you continuously rotate your posture, you give your muscles a chance to rest and recuperate before the next series of shots.

We hope this helps! Say loose and switch up your routine! If you have further questions about the right way to set up prior to an event for the perfect shot, we’re here to assist you!

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