We all know that the key to getting rock-steady shots is by using a tripod. However, shooting vids with it often results in footage that isn’t very dynamic; not to mention a tripod can be restrictive while you’re actually doing the shoot.
Because of this, you have to be versatile enough to conduct a shoot while going handheld. Here are some tips that will help:
Firmly Place the Camera on Your Shoulders
To keep the footage steady, your arms should be as tight and close as possible to your body. It will also help with the stabilization if you utilized the viewfinder and braced the camera against your shoulder, since the further it is from your body, the harder it becomes to maintain steadiness.
Use Lens with Wide Angles
When shooting with zoom lens, use its wide end whenever possible. This is since the longer your focal length is, the more likely your footage would end up shaky. In addition, even breathing can lead to unacceptable shakes when you’re at the long end of your lens.
Practice Your Stance
This is especially important if you’re going for static shots. The most important trick to this is to spread your legs apart while filming. This is since standing with your feet and legs too close to each other can lead to instability, which then causes your body to wobble and sway.
Anchor Yourself to Other Objects when Necessary
You can use anything to brace yourself for a clean and steady shot. You can, for instance, lean against a door frame, tree, lamppost, or anything else for support, so long as it is capable of handling your body weight in case you need to really lean back.
Steady Your Breathing
Breathe smoothly and steadily throughout the shoot. Some make the mistake of holding their breaths for far too long, only to end up gasping after a while – the resulting movements from such can ruin the footage.
Pay Attention to Verticals and Horizontals
Watch for the vertical and horizontal aspects of your shoot, such that the frame is always level and upright. This is especially when your moving backwards with your camera because it’s usually the cause of drifting off kilter with the shot – this can lead to unprofessional and second-rate looking footage.
Use Your Hips to Pan Out
Achieving a steady, effective shot with a handheld camera can be tricky. But you can pull it off by keeping your hands steady and holding your camera close to the body. Don’t bend your knees, keep your legs still and firm, then make a panning movement using your hips. With this technique, you can easily to a 180 degree pan.
If It’s Windy, Get Some Shelter
When filming outdoors on a windy day, find a spot with adequate shelter for the shoot. It can be between buildings or in a doorway – anywhere will do as long as you’re protected from strong winds that might hamper your posture and your shots.
Not all moments in a handheld shoot are static; sometime you need to move around to get the best angles. In such cases, the trick is to take long strides when you walk with your knees bent a bit. Doing these will help absorb any bumps and lumps you might experience in the event that the ground you’re walking on is rough or uneven.