5 Tips for Handheld Shooting

Videomaker by

Whether you're out for a quick shoot, or are lugging your gear a long distance, you can't always take a tripod along. Here are some tips for hand-held shooting when you don't have your trusty stable 'pod around.

Let's face it, as much as we tout the use of tripods in Videomaker, we can't always use one every time. Sometimes a tripod isn't convenient, other times the shoot is very casual. Then the economics get in the way: you might not have the funds for a good one, so you use your cheapo 'pod, which is fine for long non-moving shots, but the pan and tilt on it isn't exactly smooth when you want to follow the action. Here are a few quick tips for those times when all you have is a camcorder... and you.

1. Steady as She Goes

Think of yourself as the Human Tripod except instead of three legs, you have two. You have to keep your balance and ballast just as a tripod would. S-T-E-A-D-Y is the name of the game. If you're just going to stand there for any length of time shooting medium to wide shots that don't include any movement on your part, then you want to position yourself accordingly. Lean against a tree, a wall or a pole, and relax your upper body. A tense body will cause muscle shake if you're holding a camera too long.

2. Plan the End of the Shot First

Pan, tilt, boom and truck shots require movement, and if you rely on just your wrists to make the camera move, you won't have much muscle control and won't have a smooth shot. read more...

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