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Learn to Pan and Tilt with your Tripod

Published on

Cinematography & Filmmaking

Camera Movement, Quick Tip, Tripod

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To pan and tilt with your tripod are basic movements. But even these basic movements could require practice. Here’s a great tip on how to practice this.

The first camera movements you’d probably learn are panning and tilting with your tripod. These are the most basic movements and are therefore important to master. Smooth movements with nice starts and stops makes a big difference and will put your work to a higher level.

Like with everything, practice is required. For the practice of tilting and panning there is a great technique. Hang 9 pieces of paper to the wall. Each paper has a unique number. Then pan or tilt from one number to another. Try to make smooth movements.

For the best practice, ask someone to say a number each time. Now it comes as a surprise, just like during a real shoot.

This is also how I learned how to master my movements during film school. The best results can be achieved with a fluid video head. But you can even get smooth movements with a cheaper photo head when practicing like this.

If you like to your tripod movements to the next level, then check out our 5 creative tricks with a tripod video.

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2 thoughts on “Learn to Pan and Tilt with your Tripod”

  1. Hello Jordy,

    Great video!

    It would be nice if you can give us some info on the hardware (tripod, head, slider, …) you are using too.
    Because we can practise a lot but the hardware is as important as the operator.


    • Hey Maxime,

      In the video you see me working with the Manfrotto 509HD, however I do not recommend that tripod. I’ve had nothing but trouble with it. I recently ordered a Sachtler SMB6. If you work with DSLR’s I believe the Ace is also a great tripod. As for the slider, I use the Konova K5 80cm slider. It’s a perfect length to use on a single tripod. The head on my slider is just a normal photo head, anything will do.



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