A tripod is usually the best way to take a steady picture. But there are a lot of times when a tripod isn't convenient to use. One alternative is to mount your camera on an articulated arm that is mounted off to one side. This will still hold your camera steady but it will be able to get angles that would be impossible for a tripod.
Step 1: Select an Articulated Lamp
The easiest way to make an articulated camera stand is to modify an articulated desk lamp. The best style of lamp for this application is one that has two sets of parallel arms. A flexible gooseneck lamp can work but they aren't able to support heavy cameras as well.
Step 2: Remove the Head of the Lamp
First you need to remove the head of the lamp. Most lamps have a thumb screw at each joint that lets you tighten and loosen each section. The top one adjusts the tension on the lamp. Completely unscrew and remove this thumb screw. The lamp assembly should then slide out.
Step 3: Remove the Lamp's Power Cord
Most articulated lamps have the power cord routed through the arms of the stand. If this is the case, you need to remove the power cord in order to disconnect the lamp assembly. To do this, you can either cut the wires or you can find another way to disconnect them from the lamp. You should then be able to pull the power cord through the arms of the stand.
If your lamp has a fluorescent bulb, it may have a transformer built into the base. This may require you to either cut the power cord at the base or remove the transformer in order to completely remove the power cord.
Step 4: Measure the Spacing on the Top Mounting Plates
In order to mount the camera, we will need to create a new bracket that will attach to the stand where the lamp assembly was located. The first thing that you need to do is measure the spacing between the mounting plates. On my lamp they were spaced about 3/8 of an inch apart.