How to obtain steadiness when handholding the camera
by Eguaogie Eghosa May 20, 2021 Views (316)
Very few division officers or chiefs in an imaging facility expect a cameraperson to shoot every scene from a tripod. Tripods cut down on maneuverability. When you are shooting uncontrolled action, shooting from the hip is common practice. During a fast-breaking event, it is usually the only way you can get the required coverage. When there is plenty of action in the scene, people do not notice the effects of excessive camera movement by the cameraman.

There are many occasions when freedom of movement and mobility in handholding the camera are essential. You can still produce acceptable motion-video coverage if you use your body as camera support and shock absorber. When handholding a camera, practice the following techniques: 

1. Keep your arms close to your body and your legs and feet spread about a shoulder-width apart. 
2. Bend your knees slightly, keeping your weight on the balls of your feet. 
3. Lean your body back slightly for better balance. The camera should be over your knees for the greatest stability. For added steadiness when handholding a camera, you can lean against something, such as a tree or a wall.
4. Hold the camera firmly against your face and place your hand in the camera strap.
5. Control your breathing while shooting. Each breath you take causes the camera to rise and fall slightly. The technique of taking a deep breath, exhaling a little, and holding the rest while you shoot is an effective way to help eliminate camera unsteadiness. When shooting a long scene, breathe as evenly and slowly as possible.
6. Another method for handholding a video camera is to kneel on one leg and rest your elbow on the raised knee. When you must pan the camera, keep your elbow free and pivot your body at the waist.

When handholding a video camera, keep the following facts in mind to reduce the shakiness problem:
1. Concentrate on handholding the camera steady while using a wide-angle lens. Your shakiness will be reduced considerably. 
2. When using a wide-angle lens, you must get as close to the subject as possible to provide an acceptable image size. Shakiness is directly proportional to the focal length of the lens. Slight shakiness may be almost unnoticeable with a wide lens. With a long lens, the same amount of shakiness destroys the entire scene. 
3. Give yourself a steady platform. Before you squeeze the record button, inhale, then partially exhale. Now, squeeze. 
4. Do not pull or jerk the record button. 
5. Lean against a building, a tree, or the side of a car. Any support of this nature may provide more steadiness than free-standing.

A tripod can literally be considered the basis for most good motion-media products. To help you realize just how important a tripod is for shooting motion media, consider handholding a movie projector. You cannot hold the projector steady for any period of time. The picture weaves around on the screen and is very distracting to the viewers. The same result is created when a motion-video camera is handheld, but in this case, images within the picture area appear to weave around because of camera movement. The image you see in the camera viewfinder is so small that you may not notice the camera movement. It is easy to think you are holding the camera steady. Bear in mind that the slightest amount of camera movement is magnified many times when the image is played back

While not all situations permit the use of a tripod, the use of a folded tripod as a unipod is preferable to shooting without a camera support. Even the lightest weight, so-called handheld video camera produces much better results when supported adequately.

Camera steadiness is only one advantage of using a tripod. When using a tripod, you automatically take more time to compose and check scenes before recording them.

You need to hold the camera as steady as possible. But you have to remember that the way you hold your camera can help ensure you get a good picture.

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