Essential QuickTip #3: Make Your Body a Tripod

WASHINGTON, 26 SEPTEMBER 2010 — Backpack journalists use tripods on a very, very limited basis. The whole idea is to cut down on gear, to be mobile and to be unobtrusive. So learn how to turn your body into a tripod. Turn your left hip toward your subject. With your left hand as a base holding the camera, tuck your left elbow into your left rib cage just above your hip. Grasp the camera with your right hand and hold your right elbow tight to your torso. No chicken wings here! Your body becomes a tripod. Now, take a look at yourself in a mirror. This is going to be uncomfortable at first but you can hold a camera in place like this all day long. Otherwise, if you stand there holding the camera in front of your face with your elbows flapping in the wind you’ll last about three minutes before your shoulder muscles start screaming. (Photo by Esther Gentile)