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DIY: The string tripod (aka stringpod)

Make a portable, two-ingredient tripod alternative for taking steady shots on the go.

Sharon Vaknin/CNET

Three-legged tripods are the go-to accessory for steadying shots. Whether you're trying to achieve a high exposure or need to work with a shaky hand, propping your camera on a tripod is crucial to producing a clear image, especially in low light.

Thing is, tripods are bulky, making it difficult to carry them while you travel. So, how do you get steady shots without a tripod? With the stringpod, of course.

An old photographer's trick, the stringpod isn't exactly a tripod replacement, but it gets pretty close when you need to steady your camera in a pinch. Here's how it works:

Now playing: Watch this: DIY string tripod
2:37

You'll need:

  • A 1/4" eye bolt
  • A cord or string (the thicker the better)

Cut the cord or string to about three times your height. Tie the ends together. Then, pass the string through the eye of the bolt and create a loop knot to secure it in place.

To use the stringpod, screw the bolt into the tripod socket. Then step onto the string or cord with two feet spread about shoulder-width apart. Now, pull the camera up to put tension on the string and steady your camera.

Although the stringpod isn't ideal for very long exposure shots (your hands will eventually get shaky), the dirt-cheap accessory works well when you're in a low-light situation and need to crank up the ISO.

Check out the video above to see the difference in clarity when shooting with and without the string tripod.