Your humble tripod can be more than just a stand. We run through a few of the ways you can use a tripod to create dramatic effects and shots with minimal effort


It’s possible to spend a fortune on videography. Getting all the gear, accessories, tools, sliders and rigs you feel you need to achieve the shots you want is a pursuit that could easily run you into thousands of pounds of expenditure.

Good news, though: it doesn’t have to. While heavy-duty equipment is often necessary for spectacular shots, there are a number of ways you can use everyday equipment to recreate cool effects simply through a bit of creativity.

In the video above we look at the humble tripod. Stop thinking of your three-legged friend as a stand and start thinking of him as a tool and you’ll find your options really start to expand. In the video above we run through a few specific shots you can use your tripod to recreate. Perfect for filmmaking on a budget!

Here are the shots we’ll show you how to create:

Crane shot

Tripod for video

In a fall-down crane shot, the camera moves in a downward arc towards the subject, while a rise-up crane shot does the opposite. It’s called a crane shot because ideally you’d be using just that, however it’s easy enough to recreate with your tripod, as we demonstrate in the video.

Fair warning though: this is a rather dramatic shot. Don’t overdo it. You’ll look weird.

Tracking shot

Tripod for video

In a tracking shot, the camera follows a person physically as they move. In big film productions it’s often achieved using a track, however a decent stabilisation system will also do the trick. A few adjustments to your tripod and it can help you achieve a decent tracking shot.

Steadicam shot

Tripod for video

If you want to keep your camera steady then you need a decent amount of weight to counterbalance it. Your tripod should be able to provide that, as long as you hold it in the right way.

Slider shot

Tripod for video

You can get a decent recreation of a slider shot using a tripod. This is one where you might want to use a little post-production stabilisation on the end product, though. Just a touch!

Intrigued? Watch the video above to see how it’s done!

Check out our other tutorials for some top tips, such as how to master your monopod.