Get Sharpness With Other Camera Supports

Spring Runoff by Carol Brown

Tripods are not the only option for getting added sharpness when shooting at slower shutter speeds.  Travelling with a tripod can be difficult if you must pack really light.  In addition, tripods can be hard to take to some places, such as when you are photographing along a historic street with some tourists who might trip over them.  Some places even prohibit them.   Tripods can also be awkward to carry and move around in some settings, such as at sports events.  Luckily, you have alternatives.

Beanbags Make very Portable Supports:
Beanbags are very pliable bags against a solid surface.  Some actually have beans inside, although most have plastic pellets.  The bag molds against the camera to help you hold it stable against a post, chair, bookcase, parking meter, or any other convenient, non moving object.
Monopods are  Great for Sports Action:
A monopod is like one leg of a tripod with a head on top.  These are great for shooting sports because the monopod can carry the weight of the camera and lens as you watch the action develop.  They can be used in a lot of situations where you need a slower shutter speed but cannot use a tripod, and you can quickly move out of the way if needed.
Gorillapods Wrap around Objects:
The Gorillapod looks like a miniature tripod with bendable legs.  It comes in different sizes for different sizes of cameras.  Although it can support a smaller camera directly, most of the time a Gorillapod is used by wrapping its legs around a solid object, such as a post.  The unit itself is very lightweight.
Table tripods can help with Small Cameras:
Miniature, folding tripods can fit into a camera bag, and can be opened and used on a table or any other flat solid surface to keep your camera stable during exposure.  The smallest ones can be kept with a pocket digital camera to let you shoot with slow shutter speeds anywhere.
Marg Jackman