Shootin’ From the Hip

December 27, 2001 tips & tricks

From: Kim Fatica
Most of us wear the familiar Porta-Brace “saddle bags” around our waists, which we use for all our little gadgets like microphone stands, spare tapes, spare batteries, small cables, a lens cloth, gum, snacks; you name it, we have it. Those hip packs are also useful for keeping your camera steady.

There are many instances where a tripod may not be practical in the day-to-day scramble of general news. Think about the number of times you’ve been in a locker room trying to get post-game sound and everyone around you is shooting over their shoulder while the athlete is sitting down. How about the hundreds of times you’ve tried shooting small children, but all you could see is the tops of their heads? And what about all the times you’ve had to do a bang-bang interview in tight quarters and the tripod was taking up valuable space?

Use those hip packs as a steady bag by resting the shoulder pad of your camera on your hip pack as you are wearing it. You will be able to flip your viewfinder upwards to your face and cradle the camera while it’s resting on your saddle bag. Use your hips and torso to execute slight pan movements. Make sure, though, you have a good, shoulder-wide stance to keep you steady.

This technique is particularly helpful when you need cutaways on the fly, or when you need that creative shot at a press conference instead of the standard stuff.

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