The tripod is an accessory that will instantly improve your video. Unfortunately, they are usually too big and bulky to use. In this StoryGuide video episode you will learn how to pick the right one, and also you how to stabilize your camera using everyday things. From string to rubber bands to table lamps, there is always an easy way to improve the shot.
For your video to look like a professional video does not require professional equipment. But it does require a stable camera. Even if you are going for your version of “jiggle camera” you need to find some way to hold your camera steady. That’s why we use a tripod.
There are different sorts of tripods. Its name tells you it has three legs (tri meaning three and pod meaning foot). There are all types of materials for aluminum to wood to graphite. But no matter what type of tripod you have, as long as you use one your stories will improve.
You can make good videos while hand-holding the camera, but you won’t achieve excellence. Most professionals would tell you that tripods come in two forms: “light and worthless” or “heavy and useful”. I would not deny that, except to say if it is too heavy you won’t bring it when you need it and a great heavy tripod in your closet is really no tripod at all.
There are some “tripod alternatives” and “quick solution” camera platforms (not really tripods because these solutions don’t have three legs.) I have used a bag of beans, rice or sand. Even a rolled up shirt placed on a log or rock can help.
The bottom line is that a stable camera will significantly improve your storytelling.