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What to Use Instead of a Tripod

Posted by Jacob Hawthorne on

A tripod may be one of the most important photography tools. It eliminates camera shake that can make photos blurry. It is a vital part of many photographers’ tool kits.

But tripods can be difficult to deal with. If they are large, they may be cumbersome to take along on shoots. They also may not work for every shooting situation.

If you’re shooting and don’t have a tripod handy, there are several items that can work as an alternative. Here are a few to consider.


A monopod is similar to a tripod, but it has one leg rather than three. It’s not as bulky to carry around and it’s faster to set up. It also takes up less floor space. Its speed makes it ideal for action shots.

On the downside, a monopod does not provide as much stability as a tripod. You must also constantly support a monopod making it impossible to walk away from.


A GorillaPod has joints that allow it to attach to fences, railings, tree branches, and other items. It can help you get a variety of angles. It is small and portable making it an ideal tripod alternative.

However, it tends to sit lower to the ground than some tripods which can be a drawback if you’re looking for height.

Triple Mount

A triple mount has suction cups that can be attached to a car so you can get a view that makes it look like you’re driving on the road. It’s great for landscape shots. However, you must ensure it is attached at the right place to get the best shots.

Triple mounts are a fun tool, but they cannot replace tripods in most situations.


A Monsterpod features a flat, disclike shape with an attachment for your camera in the center. It has a swivel head so you can get pictures from any angle, and it is small and light enough to carry.

One drawback is that the Monsterpod does not have any height. It sits flat on the ground. Therefore, you will need something to elevate it when you need to take pictures from higher angles.


If you forget a tripod, you can always use a bottle. You must have the right attachment to screw your camera onto the bottle but if you do, you will get some terrific, stable shots. Note, it’s advisable to fill the bottle with a liquid or heavy item so the camera doesn’t tip it over.

Bean Bag

A bean bag provides a stable surface where you can set your camera. The surface not being flat is a drawback, but it’s better than nothing in a pinch.

Any Flat Surface

There are several flat surfaces that you can rest your camera on when taking photos. These include ledges, cars, tabletops, benches, floors, and anything else that’s relatively flat. Just be sure to place a cloth under the camera before setting it down to protect it from the elements.

Your Camera Settings

Your camera settings may also be effective in reducing camera shake. A high ISO will give you more stops to play with minimizing the risk of blur. You can also use the camera’s self-timer, so the camera won’t move when you press the shutter release.

A tripod is a necessary photography tool, but it’s clunky to take around and it’s not the best solution in all circumstances. The options in this article provide ideas on what you can use if a tripod is not available or practical. Which will you be adding to your equipment list?

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