How to Shoot Smooth Handheld Footage
As much as we like tripods, it is not always possible to use one every time. It may not be convenient on certain occasions, or maybe the shoot is very casual. Anyway, here are some of our tips on how to get the best footage possible when all you have is a camera and yourself.
1. Human Tripod
Think of yourself as a human tripod and hold your camera as close to your body as possible, with your elbows tucked in right by your ribs. If you have any object near you as a tree, a wall or a pole, you can always lean against it.
2. Sit down
If you plan on shooting in one spot, find something to sit on, or just sit on the ground. You can support your camera in your lap, and use the LCD screen to watch the shot. It will allow you to reduce any shake, and also to execute smooth pans.
3. Balance the weight
The worst thing you can do is holding the camcorder away from your face, because all the weight will go to your wrists, probably causing damage in the future. An alternative is to tuck your arms into your body and put one hand on top, and the other on the bottom for added support.
4. Slow down
Movement is more subtle when it’s slowed down. So, in order to reduce any visible shake, shoot in slow motion.
5. Smooth walk
To create a nice even walk and minimise bouncing, practise the ‘Heel Toe’ technique, which consists on walking with your knees bent and carefully step on your heel, roll onto your foot and then onto your toes.