Wacky tripods: If ninjas took photos, they'd use these
Traditional tripods may be the best weapon against blurry pictures, but they're not always practical. We round up seven of the wackiest, most versatile tripods money can buy
We've all been there: breathlessly plugging your camera into your computer, firing up your photo software, and stopping dead at the sight of horrifically blurry pictures. How to rectify the situation? Get a tripod. Lug that chunky thing to the pub, the beach, take that bad boy everywhere. Maybe not.
Or you could follow our advice and think different. Click through the photos to see our pick of the coolest, wackiest and most un-tripoddy tripods, monopods and camera supports going. Peter Parker wasn't really Spider-Man -- he had one of these puppies. -Rich Trenholm
Say hello to the daddy of wacky tripods, the ever-playful Joby Gorillapod. It has flexible, gripping legs which can wrap around almost any surface, and attach your camera to poles, trees and railings. Awesome.
There are three sizes, with the largest supporting up to 3kg of SLR. The compact version works its monkey magic for £15, the light SLR version costs £35, and the SLR/zoom version is £45.
Another entry in the "but it's so simple!" corner is the Klikk, an Italian design. It's basically a rounded piece of plastic with a slot for a screw to poke through. Screw your camera on and it will sit proud and stable on any surface, and even point in different angles thanks to the Klikk's cunning curve.
Here's one for the big-time drinkers: the Snaps-On-A-Bottle snaps on a bottle. Of course! It's so simple! The bottle needs to be full, obviously, and saves your pictures from being ruined by jittery hands from a Panda Cola sugar-high. Get one for about a fiver from X-tremegeek.com.
The PixPal is a 107cm (42-inch)-long horizontally handheld self-portrait monopod.
No, it's a stick.
It creeps, it crawls, it sticks cameras to walls: it's the Monsterpod. Be afraid, be very afraid, for the Monsterpod needs no legs, grips or suction cups. Instead it sticks to surfaces via a patent-pending 'viscoelastic morphing polymer'. As seen on our sister site, CNET.com.
Yours for about £15 from monster-pod.com.
Probably best to be very careful who you point this at: law-enforcement officers probably won't take kindly to this 'point and shoot', and you might end up with the wrong sort of snapshot.
The Transformed Tripod is made by Brando, and starts off as a normal tripod, before folding up Megatron-style into the gun-grip shape. Yours for $13 (£6.25) from Brando.
Finally, if none of these ker-azy tripods does it for you, you could make your own in true MacGuyver style. Say hello to the string monopod.
All you need is some cord or rope, and a hook with a screw that fits your tripod mount.
Simply attach one end of a length of cord -- at least your height plus a little more in length -- to the hook, or your tripod's detachable mounting, if it'll fit. Make a loop in the other end. Screw the hook into the tripod mount in your camera and hold it up to your eye. Adjust the length of the cord so you can put your foot in the loop and pull the cord taut when taking a photo.
The tautness of the cord reduces camera shake and also gives you the freedom to follow moving subjects, or recompose your shots rapidly. Get more detailed instructions from instructables.com. Don't say we never teach you nothing! Or link to interesting sites that actually do.