So what do you do when you need a tripod and forget it? Like shooting in REALLY tricky lighting, where only a tripod will do the trick?

I recently came across this problem while traveling. I was lucky it wasn’t me, this time, but it could have been. Now I know this has been written about before, but in case you missed it, here are my go-to tips.

Use what you’ve got

Many cameras these days have built-in stabilization, that’s probably going to be your first port of call. Make sure that is turned on. You can also go for the quickest aperture you can, as this lets in more light and allows for a quicker shutter speed.

What to do when you need a tripod and forgot it?
Shot at f/2.8, 1/40s

Find a stable surface

The first thing to really is to find a stable surface. A table, a chair, a wheelie bin, the bonnet of your car, a fence or even the ground. If you need to keep the camera super steady, hand-holding it just won’t do — inevitably anything slower 1/60s means you might experience camera shake.

You might have a steadier hand than me, so that number may be slightly slower … but I am guessing not by much.

Photo by Colin N on Unsplash

Carry a wheat/rice bag

If you are traveling and can throw a wheat or rice bag in the car with you, this is a great alternative, especially to shooting down low when the ground is we. This can steady the camera and keep it off the ground.

A Platypod or GorillaPod can work really well when traveling too (if you remember to pack them).

Lock it in tight

When you can’t get to the ground and there is nothing around to support your tripod and you only want a slightly slower speed, spread your feet to keep you stable, and lock your elbows to your sides. Breathe in and then exhale and take the shot. There is no guarantee, but it can help!

Photo by Céline Druguet on Unsplash