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Brian Liepe: These DSLRs are really lightweight. When shooting handheld, it's very easy to simply hold the camera in your hands for an extended period of time. But there are some drawbacks to the size and weight of these cameras. If I'm shooting on a lens that doesn't have a stabilization mechanism or I'm shooting without stabilization hardware, like a shoulder mount, the longest focal length I can safely operate or operate without unwanted shake is about a 24 mm lens. Anything longer than that is when I start to see that my arms just aren't good enough and that that natural breathing life giving movement that we all love about handheld shooting transitions to a kind of unnatural and harsh camera shake.
So in order to avoid this we need to weigh down the camera and mount it so that we can still have the freedom of those fluid drifting shots. One way to do this is to use a shoulder mount. Here you can see that I've got counterweights on the back, so the leverage point exists along the rails at my shoulder. So my hands are simply guiding the frame and I am not struggling to keep the camera up. I can easily adjust my focus and the grip handles for all that control that I need. As you can see here in this shot, I'm shooting with an 85 mm lens and no stabilization hardware, pretty bad.
Here is the same shot, same lens, only with my shoulder mount giving me some weight and balance. I encourage you to take advantage of valuable storytelling techniques like handheld shooting. But remember to stabilize your camera as much as you can, whether it's on your shoulder, on a tripod or even a monopod, which by the way, can get your DSLR into some pretty cool positions.
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