Expert Tips on Filming Children

Dec 19, 2011

Man using Samsung Camcorder at tourist attraction

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Jan 19, 2011

A free tripod usually comes with every camcorder purchased.

But frankly speaking, the free tripod that came with this camcorder doesn’t look like anyone’s tool of choice.
Even with all the legs extended, it barely reaches the waist and the legs look very fragile and unstable. The head is quite stiff too. Moving it forward/backward, left/right is just so hard and it is very shaky.

But it is a tripod after all, and it does seem to require that its legs be extended out all the way, firmly planted on the ground and the camcorder mounted on its head. But did you know that this feeble creature can prove itself at least ten times more useful when placed in a person's hands rather than on the ground? Want to know how?

Wait to be surprised!

The latest camcorders come with really good anti motion-blur functions. In fact, many manufacturers highlight their anti motion-blur functions in marketing. Likewise, Samsung’s latest Smart OIS technology is known to provide a wider optical area with better anti motion-blur functionality than previous models.
However, none of the camcorders commercially available have a perfect anti motion-blur function good enough to completely eliminate the use of a tripod for the range between wide-angle zoom and maximum zoom, where anti motion-blur is needed the most. Have you ever seen a manufacturer guaranteeing anti motion-blur for maximum zoom? I didn’t think so. Whatever the case, a tripod is still a necessity when it comes to ensuring overall stability in shots. Strictly speaking, it’s not the tripod itself we are talking about, but rather a mechanism or a tool of some sort which can add stability to the camcorder.
The mini tripod which is usually included as a free gift when buying a camcorder actually has many limitations when used as a regular tripod placed on the ground. With a little more flexibility, however, it transforms into a much more useful tool.

1. Hand-Held Method

This is very simple. Use your right hand to hold the camcorder as you normally would, but use your left hand not to support the camcorder itself but to hold the bottom part of the tripod which is attached to the camcorder with its legs folded together. Your shots will become much more stable than when supporting the camera with your bare hands, as the support length becomes longer. As long as you stay put in one position, your shots will be quite stable even at maximum zoom. Since this is not ideal for lengthy shots or while moving, it is recommended that you limit your shots to 3 to 5 minutes. (This is the most commonly used method.)

2. Chestpod Method

This is probably the most absurd but yet highly effective method. Here, the tripod is supported by your chest. Since the photo doesn’t show the front view, I have added an illustration below for you to see. Now, do you see it? It can look quite weird and strange, but it is more stable than the previous method.

This method is recommended for filming longer shots than when using the first method, with a range of 5 to 10 minutes.

3. Belt Support Method.

The further you get from the object you are supporting, the more stable it gets. The belt support method allows you to support the tripod with the longest support distance using your body. This method is useful for obtaining stable shots with occasional movements. You can get the most out of this method when filming children running around in a park or playground.
No winning shots can be obtained by completely ignoring the basics of photography. But just by making little adjustments, you can get maximum results while making the filming experience more enjoyable. I hope you don’t limit yourself to what others do and stop yourself from trying new things. Whatever the case, the videos of your children will only be meaningful if they are filmed well.