6 Camera Stabilization Hacks for Sharper Photos and Smoother Video

No matter how great your location, how great your setup, how well-posed your model or well-crafted your story board, camera shake will ruin your shot. So here are 6 stabilization hacks that’ll help you keep that camera steady for sharper photos and smoother video.

The tips were put together by Ted Sim of Aputure for their series “4 Minute Film School,” and even though the tips were created for filmmakers, several of the techniques discussed here lend themselves really well to sharper photography as well.

Check out the full breakdown up top, or scroll down for a quick summary of all 6 tips:

1. Glove fingers make for smoother slides

Want a smoother panning shot but don’t have a slider or unnaturally steady hands? No worries. Grab your nearest gorilla pod and a throw-away pair of cloth gloves, cut off the fingertips, and fit those over the gorillapod’s feet.

The tripod will now slide smoothly across any slick surface.

2. Use a string (or your shoelaces) as a makeshift tripod

This is a classic “no tripod, no problem” tip. If you find yourself in need of a few-second exposure and your hands just ain’t cutting it, try using a string or your shoelaces, tying them to the the strap loops of your camera, and stepping onto the string for stability.

Works like a charm.

3. Use your neck as a third point of contact

If you don’t have any string or your shoe laces just aren’t long enough for Tip #2, using your camera strap is the next best thing. Put it around your neck like normal, and then pull the camera out tight in front of you.

This makes your neck a third point of contact, helping keep the camera more stable than your hands alone can achieve.

4. Cradle your camera

No tripod, no string, no shoe laces, and no camera strap? There’s one more thing you can try. Cradle the camera in your elbow and very close to your core. This makes it difficult to take shots as a photographer unless your LCD can swing off to the side, but it’s a great way to stabilize on-the-go video shots.

5. Shoot 4K for Electronic Stabilization

This one is all video all the time. If you’re shooting hand-held video and your camera is capable, always shoot at the highest resolution. This will allow you to crop the frame in post-production, keeping the center stable while the cropped bits move around.

6. Shoot in Slow Motion

Another video only tip, this one won’t help with huge motions, but the higher frame rate will make smaller bumps and turns look much cleaner.

(via ISO 1200)

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