Instructables

Hand Grip for One Hand iPhone Photos

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Picture of Hand Grip for One Hand iPhone Photos
I have begun to use my iPhone's camera for illustrating my Instructables. But, that often means my other hand is busy with something I am trying to show. I always worry about dropping the iPhone and breaking the screen. I decided to make a grip for holding the phone with one hand so that my index finger lines up with the shutter release button on the screen. (For now I am using rubber bands to hold the phone on the grip, but see the 2nd photo in the last step for what I did to replace the rubber bands. The phone shown belongs to my wife. I am using my phone with one hand to take these photos.)

Materials
  • 2 x 4 (wood)
  • 1/2 to 3/4 inch pine 2 1/2 inches wide
  • 1/2 inch dowel
  • glue
Tools
  • Square
  • Protractor and bevel guide
  • Hand saw for wood
  • Spokeshave or hand plane
  • Belt or drum sander
  • Drill
 
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Step 1: Grasp the 2 x 4 as shown

Picture of Grasp the 2 x 4 as shown
Mark around your hand as you grasp a 2 x 4. Saw out a rectangular piece. This will be the part gripped by the hand when using the camera holder.

Step 2: Shape the wood block

Picture of Shape the wood block
The wood block you sawed from the 2 x 4 needs to be shaped to fit the contours of your hand. This will provide a more secure grip and less fatigue while using the camera holder. I started with a spokeshave, but switched to light cuts with a hand plane.

When you are satisfied with the shape of the wood block, sand rough marks away with a belt or drum sander.

Step 4: Drill a hole for the dowel

Picture of Drill a hole for the dowel
I had only a 1/2 inch dowel. I drilled a 1/2 inch hole in the wood block shaped to fit my hand. The hole is drilled at a compound angle. The dowel slants to the right as seen in the photo by 16 degrees. The dowel also slants toward the viewer at 5 degrees. You may vary these angles according to what fits your hand.
pravar sharma4 months ago
great idea phil!!! i am really interested inur further projects
Phil B (author)  pravar sharma4 months ago
Thank you. I seldom know much in advance what idea I might get, especially if it involves solving a problem that arises. I already have 258 other Instructables and some ideas in the Community Posts published.
chloeossias6 months ago
Great idea! Will be using this.
Phil B (author)  chloeossias6 months ago
Thank you for your comment. I think you will enjoy it.
DarkTherapy6 months ago
You know you can press the volume up button on the iPhone rather than having to touch the on screen shutter button to take photos right?
Phil B (author)  DarkTherapy6 months ago
Yes. When I have done that or seen others do that, it seems two hands were required to hold and steady the phone. In large part, that is because the volume up button has a little spring resistance which leads to moving the phone when releasing the shutter. I appreciate the light touch involved with using the shutter release button on the lower part of the display screen, but even then I sometimes get camera shake or bad focus from poorly controlled and jabbing movements of my fingers. Thank you for looking and for commenting.
The iPhone earphones/mic cable can also be used as a remote camera shutter button, you could maybe mount that anywhere you like, maybe a "pistol grip" camera shooter. Keep up the good work.
Phil B (author)  DarkTherapy6 months ago
Thank you. I did not know about using the earbud cable as a shutter release.
graydog111 Phil B6 months ago
Phil, I like your simple solutions for common problems. I just got a new iPhone and am learning to use it....always worrying about dropping it. I am saving this for future reference and may use it. Thanks for posting it.
Phil B (author)  graydog1116 months ago
As I mentioned to Jim (coolbeansbaby68), I always had the feeling my phone was trying to wiggle out of my hand so it could dive to the floor. My son-in-law has a nice Galaxy SIII Android with a badly cracked screen because he dropped it somehow. This phone grip does not take long at all to build. Make it fit your hand and fingers, and I think you will really like it. You could even add a wrist lanyard for extra safety. Thanks.
gmh57606 months ago
I guess I really got lucky with my phone (Samsung Galaxy Note II). All I have to do is say "capture" while the camera function is open an it will take a pick. So I guess I could actually do it with NO hands! lol. Great Idea here though. Very creative.
Phil B (author)  gmh57606 months ago
Thank you. I did not know that about the Galaxy phones. I was very interested in a Galaxy SIII, but the sales guy thought my wife and I should get the same model of phone so I could help her when she had questions, since it was the first smart phone for each of us. He also thought the iPhone would be more intuitive and easier to learn. He probably looked at our gray hair and let a little age discrimination take over his thinking. I do have Blow Photo on my iPhone. It responds to sharp noises and blowing at the microphone, but there is a 5 second delay before the shutter fires. Then, the photo has to be handled in a precise set of steps before the picture lands in the Camera Roll where photos are stored. I do find the more I use this home brew attachment, the more I like it, even if I could easily use two hands for a particular photo.
erwin6 months ago
Excellent idea and documentation! some sugru "claws" instead of rubber bands maybe?
Phil B (author)  erwin6 months ago
Thank you for your comment. I have never used sugru. I have been thinking more along the line of some metal "L" clips that attach with screws and/or wing nuts.
erwin Phil B6 months ago
another idea would be to buy a ($2.00 shipping included) 1/2 hard shell from a place like Meritline and glue it right on your board? or one of those "sticky mats" for the car dash board?
EG
Phil B (author)  erwin6 months ago
Erwin,

One commentator (Ricardo Furioso) has not been having positive experiences with the sticky mats. I did not know hard cases are available so inexpensively. That would work. Take a look at the last step. I added an extra photo of the aluminum "L" brackets I added. One of them has a wing nut for easy removal of the phone. The brackets seem to work well. Thank you for your suggestions.
lloyd19316 months ago
I have used my suction cup phone mount from the car as a desktop tripod. Some phones can use a voice activated shutter release.

I use the sticky pad in many situations and love it. Best thing about it is that rinsing it in water rejuvenates it.
Phil B (author)  lloyd19316 months ago
Apparently you are having a better experience with a sticky pad than Ricardo Furioso in another comment.

I downloaded an app called Blow Photo. It trips the shutter when the user makes a quick blowing sound in the direction of the phone's microphone, or near to the microphone. A sharp, loud noise will also trip the shutter. But, the noise begins a 5 second self-timer that must run down before the shutter trips. Then an image is not automatically saved to the Photo Roll, but the user must go through a couple of steps to save the photo. I continue to like my phone grip and index finger method of tripping the shutter better and better every time I use it. Thank you for your comment.
Cool idea phil!!
Phil B (author)  coolbeansbaby686 months ago
Thanks. I feel like my phone is no longer trying to wiggle out of my hand and dive to the floor. I can apply just the right pressure to the shutter release spot on the screen without jiggling or jerking the phone and getting a picture that is either blurred or out of focus.
awesome
The rubber bands are a cheap, brilliant solution to the problem.
I will use them from now on in another context: To keep my iphone on my semi-sticky "supersticky" dashboard holder in the Volvo. Thank you.
Phil B (author)  Ricardo Furioso6 months ago
Thank you for your comment. Rubber bands also do get old and deteriorate before their time. That would be doubly true where the sun shines through a windshield into an automobile.

I have wondered about those sticky dashboard phone holders. Yours is the first user report I have seen.
Sticky holders work just fine for the first month.
Then the dust gets all over them and they look filthy and your phone falls down by your feet somewhere when you need it most and you're in traffic wondering which exit to take so you're kicking your phone around trying to not take your eyes off the road.
You're supposed to wash them monthly.
You're supposed to floss daily, too.
Rubber bands, though mortal, seem like a great adjunct to the semi-stickies.
Thank you again.
rich
Phil B (author)  Ricardo Furioso6 months ago
Rich,

I talked with a guy last week who uses his iPhone as a GPS with turn-by-turn instructions. Naturally, he plugs the charger to the phone so he does not lose power. But, he also connects a the phone to the USB input jacks on the car stereo system and the voice instructions play through the car's audio system. Now, to get down to the practicalities, in theory you could use the charging cord both to charge and to route audio into the car's stereo system. But, my car warns against using the USB ports on the car stereo system for charging because the USB jacks are not wired for charging and could be damaged. It is possible to get a cord with USB to 1/8 (male) stereo ends on it. That should keep your phone powered up and should feed voice instructions into the radio. The fellow with whom I talked said he just listens to the voice instructions without looking at the screen. If you do not have USB jacks on your car's audio system, you could buy one of those little FM transmitters to send the audio into the radio. I did have one of the FM transmitters once, and there were interference sources, like traffic lights and high tension lines, that created all manner of havoc, but most of the time it worked fairly well. What the guy with whom I talked did would eliminate the need for a sticky mount.
gordonson6 months ago
Nice work Phil!
Phil B (author)  gordonson6 months ago
Thank you.
usajjad6 months ago
Nice
Phil B (author) 6 months ago
Thank you. It works well for me. I hope those who wish to do so can duplicate or adapt it to suit their needs. Thank you for looking, and welcome to Instructables.
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