Holding The Camera: Free Hand And Equipment

Free hand is a very common style of holding the camera when held like scene in the picture the footage usually has a tremble to it which isnt normally desired although some times it is used deliberately to create energy in films such as ‘The Blare Witch Project’ and ‘Cloverfield.’ shot like this the footage is quite disorientating although it dose create energy. wobbling can be got around by holding the camera low or by using your body such as your knee or shoulder to rest it on, an example of this is in schadenfreude as each of the shots were the actors are followed was shot were the camera was resting on somebody’s shoulders whilst they stepped with the same foot as the actor in time which reduced wobble and stopped there being the sound of two sets of footsteps.

A Steadicam uses an upper body harness and a counter weight that counters the wobble so that the camera stays in the same position it is often used by the people on segways on sporting fields recording the game.

Tripods come in all shapes and sizes they keep a camera almost perfectly still especially fluid ones. Tripods generally aren’t used for any form of tracking shot but are brilliant for tilts pans stills and any other movement free shots.

Dolly’s are used for wobble free tracking shots. The camera sits on a platform which runs along a track like a train or skateboard.

Wire rigs and drones are used to film at height which create some of the most memorable stunts in films. the airborne cameras are the ones with the greatest health and safety issues as they are heavy and could fall easily.

A mono pod is a single telescopic pole which can be used to reach high places such as up trees. This doesn’t prevent wobble but can be leaned on things and be held by multiple people.

The crane holds the camera still preventing it from wobbling it allows the camera to perform smooth movement up down and to the sides whilst the camera is remotely operated by someone at the counter balance whilst the crane is operated by two or more people on either side of the pivot.

About kitjaytaylor

Film student
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One Response to Holding The Camera: Free Hand And Equipment

  1. kendalcollegefilm says:

    Excellent research on display here Kit—well done. While there are many ways of stabilising a camera, the key issue is whether you should! How does the camera’s movement (or lack of) affect the meaning of the shot, and therefore the audience’s experience?


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