One of the simplest ways to stabilize your shot is to brace your camera against your gut, cradling it with a hand underneath the lens. If you have a camera strap, pulling on it to make it taut helps steady your camera. Better yet, you can brace your camera against physical objects, or place it on a bag or sweatshirt on the ground.
This lesson introduces the best no-cost tips and ideas for creating steady motion in your video, using your body and a camera strap.
Getting Started: Manually Stabilizing Handheld Footage
If you have a strap, one of the easiest things you can do is to pull on the strap and make it taught. Even if your camera is way out in front of you, it will definitely help you to get much more stable footage. Slip the strap under one arm to make it a bit more comfortable, and pull the camera forward to create tension.
If you don't have a strap or if you don't want to use yours, you can use your body to stabilize your camera. Instead of holding the camera out far like you did with the strap on, is to bring it close to your body. You actually want to push it against your hard pretty hard, even pushing your gut out a bit to help aid to the stability. This a very comfortable position to shoot long handheld shots, you can easily maintain a stable shot up to 15-20 seconds.
If you get tired or are loosing stamina another thing you can do is use static objects around you to help stabilize the camera.
Use a railing, use the floor, the ground. We can press against the side of a wall and just use the stuff that is around to help stabilize the footage. This is an example of how a flip-out LCD screen can help you use a variety static objects to achieve stable footage. If your screen doesn't have any articulation, you'd find it pretty difficult to operate the camera and frame your shots properly.
If you are looking to get a shot that's closer to the ground, using your knee is a good option you have. Place one knee down, and press your body against a wall.
Another option is a bag or sweater under your camera, using that to achieve the desired angle while providing the support to capture a stable shot. If it's a bean bag, even better.
There are just a few of the ways you can stabilize your footage using just a camera strap and utilizing your environment to aid your shots. In the next lesson we'll talk about how to get high and low shots using a top handle, rotating the hand grip, to get a bit more variety in our shooting angles.
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