How To Keep Camera Steady While Walking: Tips You May Have Overlooked

How To Keep Camera Steady While WalkingOne of the challenges that a young filmmaker would encounter is knowing how to keep his shots steady as he walks around the filming area and capture the details that he wants to include in his film. This makes knowing how to keep camera steady while walking a good skill to master, even if you’ve become famous and let another person do the walking and capturing on your behalf.

The days where capturing stable images are best left to camera operators is long gone, and we are now in an age wherein the filmmaker or director is expected to provide great photos and videos that are stable and free of blur and motion-induced smudges. Those that are stable and free of blur and motion-induced smudges. Some cameras now offer built-in stabilizers that help with this task, but there are other ways to keep your hands and cameras steady while walking without resorting to high-end technology.

Tips for Keeping the Camera Steady

Keeping your camera steady while you walk is a skill worth learning and, as a skill, it involves human kinetics. This is how to keep camera steady while walking using your own body and its natural movements.

Human Kinetics

  • Hold It Like Its Hot

Regardless if your camera is a digital camera, a mobile phone or a sophisticated camcorder, you have to learn how to hold the camera with both hands. This is the first thing you need to master to take stable and steady shots with your equipment. Use the grips on the handles, insert your primary hand, and then use your free hand to support the entire unit.

  • Brace Yourself

When taking stills or static shots, use the natural environment to provide additional support. Use walls, lamp posts, telephone poles, trees, or whatever is tall and strong enough to support your weight for an extended period.

  • It’s In the Stance

For the steadiest shot you can muster, spread your legs to widen your center of gravity. Maintain the distance as you move forward or backward, making sure that each movement is smooth and flawless.

  • Shake Your Hips

Pan shots are difficult to master, and doing it while walking is a whole new game. Experts advise that you keep the camera close to your body to keep it steady and then use your hips to swivel along with the shot.

  • Be Flexible

Sometimes, the shot you want is from an angle that has limited room to move. You should be able to bend your body when you need it.

  • Steady Breathing

Much like shooting a free throw shot, you need to inhale and exhale in a consistent motion to keep your body from shaking. Hasty inhalations can make your body twitch or move up and down involuntarily which can ruin the shot.

Do-It-Yourself

While human kinetics plays a major role in taking steady shots with your camera while walking, this does not mean that you cannot use some DIY tricks to take your stability further. Here are a few of them:

  • Strap It On

Your camera has a strap for a reason. Tighten it well so that there is almost no slack when you place the camera in front of your eyes. The strap will be stretched, and it will tell your body that it is as far it goes. This also lets your hand borrow some stability from your body by letting your hand pull at the strap.

  • Sticks and Stones

Outdoor shoots are a fun way to develop your camera holding skills. You get to know your surroundings better, and you can also express your creativity better by coming up with improvised stands and mounts from sticks, stones and other stuff you can find outside the studio.

  • Use Some Rubber

This is similar to the strap principle. Get a piece of long rubber and tie one end around the camera while stepping on the other end. This transforms your body into a dolly, and the stability from the body to hand is also transferred via the rubber band.

  • Map Your Route

Most walking scenes call for a starting and ending position for the actors. This means that the camera would also take a certain route from point A to B. Memorize the path you will take so you can walk backward without having to worry about obstacles, rocks and other things that can trip you.

Upgrade

While DIY tricks offer improvements on a budget, equipment upgrades may also be necessary to improve not only your craft but your skill set as well. Some upgrades that can help with the stability include:

  • Widen Your Angle

The wide-angle lens offers a different view to certain shots, and a general rule among camera operators is that the longer the focal length, the harder it is to achieve a steady shot. The wide-angle lens lets you keep the subject in frame while walking, and it also helps boost the audio volume.

  • Use Camera Stabilizers

Choose electronic stabilizers over optical ones as the results vary widely between the two. The electronic stabilizers offer better results than the optical ones.

  • Dolly Them Up

Walking while filming is a hard skill to learn, and a good shortcut is to use a dolly or a car instead, especially if you are working on relatively large and flat terrain.

  • Mount It

Most cameras come with their tripod mounts, and these mounts offer stability like no other. You can use these mounts while in a moving vehicle, and even while walking. Amateurs would often hold their cameras with one hand on the unit and the other holding the central tripod for support.

How To Keep Camera Steady While Walking

There are different ways to keep your cameras steady while you walk and shoot a subject. You can practice yoga and become more flexible and have steadier breathing. Some flexing exercises also let you be more versatile and aware of your surroundings, which can be beneficial if you are walking backward.

You can upgrade your device to include newer features or add-ons. You can also be creative and use some DIY methods if you’re on a budget.

Taking steady shots should not be too hard. All you need are a steady hand, a creative mind, and nimble feet to achieve that stability you want.