Stabilizing Your Camera

By John Frelich

How many times have you heard that you need to avoid camera shake? About every time you discuss cameras with any of your friends and/or colleagues. But are tripods and monopods the only way, especially when out and around? Generally nothing can beat a good tripod with a remote shooter.

But if you attend any of Nikon’s or other camera manufacturer’s lectures you realize other means are available. One Nikon presentation I attended they included all types of tricks and techniques e.g. leaning a camera against a wall, laying it on a rock or other flat surface.

So here are a few others. Below is an image of a miniature tripod made by Kenko. It not only lets you get flat near the ground but also will allow you to tighten it around a pole or small tree. It is not easy to find in the States but I did find it in Japan for $35.

Too much money? How many of you have travel pillows filled with rice or man-made filler e.g. Styrofoam balls? These were popular years ago and will allow you to place them on uneven surfaces or an engine running vehicle. If not in your storage area, you may also find them at Garage Sales.

Finally, why not try a piece of foam pipe insulation? If you have some left after wrapping the legs of your tripod against hot and cold temperatures this is a great way to use some scrap.  Because it opens to wrap around a pipe, that opening can be used to put on the sill of your car door window so you don’t have to “brave” the elements or challenge the fortitude of some wild animal you want to photograph. It is also said that it will help stabilize an image while performing a “panning” function without leaving the vehicle.

John Frelich is a trip leader with Arizona Highways Photo Workshops.