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How to Make a Tripod with a Piece Of String, a Beanbag, or Your Body

Ok, shutterbug, you need to keep your camera from shaking, but there’s no tripod in sight. Relax--you can still get the perfect shot.


  • Step 1: Tie string to your camera Take a strong piece of string that is a little longer than you are tall and tie it to the part underneath the camera where it attaches to a tripod.
  • TIP: If you can’t tie the string directly to your camera, tie it to a quarter-inch bolt and screw the bolt into the camera’s tripod attachment.
  • Step 2: Step on it Step on the other end of the string and lift the camera until it is at the correct level and the string is taut.
  • TIP: Some people like to tie a small, heavy weight, like a washer, to the bottom of the string to make it easier to stand on.
  • Step 3: Shoot Keep pressure on the string so that it stays taut while you shoot. This will stabilize the camera and eliminate any vertical shake.
  • Step 4: Carry a beanbag Another trick is to carry a small beanbag around for times you want to steady your camera on an uneven or sloped surface. The beanbag easily can be manipulated to get the camera at just the right angle.
  • Step 5: Lean If there is a tall object like a tree or a pole, lean the camera against it to help steady your shot.
  • Step 6: Use your body If you have nothing to lean on, use your body. Bend your arms so they are tucked in close to your chest, and place the camera in the palms of your hands.
  • Step 7: Sit If you’re on the ground, try sitting with your knees pulled up to your chest, and your camera resting on your knees.
  • Step 8: Show off Show off your crisp, clear photographs.
  • FACT: The 1999 horror movie The Blair Witch Project made many filmgoers sick—literally—because of the shaky handheld camera work.

You Will Need

  • A piece of string as tall as you
  • A beanbag
  • A quarter-inch bolt
  • A washer

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