Introduction: How to Steady a Camera With String

Picture of How to Steady a Camera With String

This is my entry into the Photojojo contest. If you like it, please vote.

Tripods are big, bulky, expensive, and often inconvenient pieces of equipment that, unfortunately, are a necessity for taking great photos. Here I will instruct you on how to create a super-simple, pocket-sized camera steadying device (tripod).

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
Really easy. These can be carried in any pocket, anywhere, and through any TSA checkpoint.
By the way, TSA does not stand for Transportation Security Administration, but rather Thousands Standing Around.

  • About 4 feet of string or other cordage
  • 1 carabiner
  • Pants with a belt loop
  • A camera in need of steadying

Step 2: Knoting the String

Picture of Knoting the String

Line up the two ends of string.

Place the ends over the rest of the string thus creating a loop.

Put the ends through the loop.

And pull tight.

Step 3: Carabiner

Picture of Carabiner

Hook your carabiner onto the loop you created in the last step.

Then attach the carabiner to a belt loop on your pants.

Step 4: Attaching the Camera

Picture of Attaching the Camera

To attach the camera to the string, use a Lark's Head knot. The Lark's Head is a remarkably simple knot that has an endless number of uses. Here is one of them.

I am demonstrating this Instructable on my old 35mm film camera because I have only one digital camera. This old camera was nearly buried in a closet.

Make a loop in the string and place the camera over it. Notice the naming of the ends in the picture.

Lift 'end A'

Put 'end B' through 'end A's loop.

Pull tight by pulling on 'end B'

Make sure the knot is secured on the bottom of the camera and that (if possible) one side of the knot is on one side of the lens and the other is on the other side (confusing, I know, the last picture will clarify.)

Step 5: Use

Picture of Use

To use this, stand and pull upwards on the camera thus applying tension to the string to keep the camera steady.

A belt might be handy when using this to keep your pants from getting pulled up to your armpits (which is not fun while trying to take photos).

Step 6: Results

Picture of Results

Here are the before and after pictures. Quite a difference.


Mastros (author)2011-09-05

A very simple and effective way to stabilize a camera, with important difference.
I'love to vote for your intsructable, but I can't seem to fin the right contest entry. Any help on this?

WrestlerHoney (author)2011-06-11

ohmygod!!!! thank you so much!!! ive always had really shaky hands and can never take a good picture without 20 trys, this is exceptionaly easy,and it costs no money to me because i have all the supplies i need around my house!!!!!! thanks again, loved how thourough you where and appreciated it very much!!!!

Kye37 (author)2009-12-29

one of the best instructables I've come across, well done!

geek12597 (author)2009-08-30

try using a lighter on the knot and and also the end to prevent fraying

geek12597 (author)2009-08-30

nice laptop.

magicdust (author)2009-06-26

Nice, except that I don't always have belt loops. Also, the string makes a noise in the microphone when shooting AVI's. Wish I had a remote microphone connector.

marc92 (author)magicdust2009-06-26

If you don't have a belt loop, I suppose you could use a longer piece of string and loop it around your foot. To solve the issue of the noise, you could try some tape or other adhesive to keep the cord in place. Best of luck :-)

dorame (author)2008-04-13

It's a low cost solution to stabilize a 'digi' when you are getting old like me :)

I also saw this article on the same subject recently:

Personally, I prefer VR (vibration reduction) either built into the camera (Cannon) body or (Nikon) the lens - but in poor light without a tripod I guess it's a neat way of avoiding the shakes ;)

I hope you win........

marc92 (author)dorame2008-04-14

Cool. Thanks!

pingeee (author)2008-04-04

Cool. An alternative would be stretching the lanyard of the camera (the string you use to hang camera on your neck) to the full to stabilize the camera while shooting.

marc92 (author)pingeee2008-04-08

Good idea!

LinuxH4x0r (author)2008-04-03

Very nice! I would recommend 2 carabiners so that you could clip it to a pole or bench or something like that

marc92 (author)LinuxH4x0r2008-04-06

Thanks. Thats a great idea and it makes you look a little less stupid using this :)

jdege (author)2008-04-03

It's an old photographers trick, well worth presenting to folks who haven't seen it before. Last I saw it used, was with an 1/4"-20 eyebolt (camera tripod screws have a 1/4"-20 thread, so an eyebolt in that thread will screw into the tripod socket on the bottom of the camera). And rather than clipping it to his belt, the guy simply used a cord long enough that he could stand on it.

marc92 (author)jdege2008-04-04

I wanted to do this one without the bolt because I never have one of those bolts around the house, and this can be done on the go, say, on vacation.

GorillazMiko (author)2008-04-03

Awesome! I like the same thing Zach likes-- how it doesn't use the screw. Great job, this could really come in handy. +1 vote. And rating.

marc92 (author)GorillazMiko2008-04-03

Thanks Gorillaz!

fuhrysteve (author)2008-04-03

see also: String Tripod
-an Instructable added Apr 28, 2007

zachninme (author)2008-04-03

Heh, I like how it doesn't require me to run out and buy the screw that fits the bottom of the camera!

I've done this in the past by hooking the strap around some protrusion on my clothing: ie. a button.
Problem is, you look *really* stupid.

marc92 (author)zachninme2008-04-03

Hah, I can never find those around my house either and it;s really maddening. You could clip the carabiner to something other than yourself, say, a park bench, to lessen the stupidity factor.

zachninme (author)marc922008-04-03

Yeah, but I came up w/ that impromptu, there wasn't anything else. Also, it led to slightly-tilted photos, as the force was on the corner.

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