What are your favourite 'no-tripod' hacks?


I was recently on a trip to China and wanted to shoot some videos for cinemagraphs. I was travelling with my brother and father and often found myself scrambling to set up my tripod while we were exploring, not wanting to hold anyone up. In a few desperate moments I used what was around me (tables, books, street corners, etc.) to keep my camera stable but it didn’t always work out.

What are your best tips for recording video without a tripod?


During the olympics, there was a strict “no tripod” rule. What was overlooked were monopods and selfie sticks for some reason. I used a table top mini tripod much like the manfroto pixi and stuck it on the end of a selfie stick. For mobile shooting this works in a pinch.

The other thing that I have is a 5 inch playpod https://platypod.com/ that is a great support for smaller cameras. I have even used it on my DSLR. This gives you an amazing ability to strap your camera almost anywhere and does not look like a tripod. Thus, you can just set it down or strap it to something and you are ready to go.


If I “disclose secret” of my concert`s cinemagraphs maybe you will not want me as “community member” anymore ;)))
true is that most (maybe more than 90%) of my concert cinemagraphs were created WITHOUT a tripod -
because usualy there are really bad condition for creating cinemagraphs at the concerts - no space, no time, no possibility to bring or have a tripod at the concert…
So that I need to always improvise and try to find at least something where I could stabilize my camera at least for a second… as you said (Nick) - whatever what is “by the hand” - table, chair, stair, wall, terrace, speaker box, stage, whatever… :slight_smile:
It is better at the festivals - there is more space, more time, more options/ possibilities for using tripod…


I always wonder about how people get cinemagraphs at concerts. When I worked at the olympics this year, the actual games would not allow us to use tripods (as I mentioned above) but also the stands were shaking quite a bit from fans cheering. It got me thinking about how one could stabilize a camera.

I guess with a good lens and whatever you can rest your camera on can work in a pinch.


If I’m on-the-go and forgot my tripod, I’ll often find a steady surface — ground or table of some sort. If I want to change the angle of my shot so it’s up or down, I’ll use a jacket, hat, scarf… whatever I’ve got, to prop underneath! :smirk:

Sometimes I’ll have to crop out some of the table/unwanted footage from the shot, but that’s very easy in Cinemagraph Pro.

Combination of smartphones with drones

I’ve used everything from a bottle of beer to the side of a garbage can to lean my iPhone against.


yeah having cinemagraph pro on the iPhone is great. It is hard to stabilize a massive DSLR but that platapod thing is a life saver.