Blog: Camera Stand Quick Project By: John Heisz

The way I make video has changed quite a lot over time. I started in 2011 with a small point and shoot (Nikon Coolpix) camera and had a 40 year old tripod that I bought at Goodwill to hold it. I would position the camera to capture the action and was fairly unconcerned about lighting or even how long I left it recording. The result was some pretty bad video that took a lot of time to edit because there were so many mistakes to fix.

But it was a start. And starting is the important part.

Onward to the present and I’d like to believe I’ve gotten much better. And I should be, if practice actually makes perfect. Nine years and (I’m guessing low, I think) 100 videos per year on average, I’ve had a lot of that practice.

I now know where to put the camera to get the best angle, how much of the action needs to be shown and have vastly improved the lighting in my shop. My editing has become very streamlined and efficient and I’m able to put together videos of a much better (objective) quality than I ever have before. I’ve also settled on a consistent style for the videos that the viewers seem to like and are not difficult for me to do.

That’s not to say that things can’t change, but I think those changes will be fairly subtle from here on out.

One major change that happened over the last year or so is reducing the amount of point of view shots I’m using. I was recording entire build videos in that way at one point, in spite of the complaints I got from viewers. And I’ve learned this about complaints over my time doing this: where there’s one or two that you do see, there are many more that you don’t see.

I’m still using two cameras, but both are static with one mounted on my camera gantry and the other on my photography tripod. Unlike the gantry, the tripod is prone to falling over if I’m a bit careless:

So to solve that and other minor problems, I made this simple camera stand:

Yes, that’s an anvil in the bottom. It adds weight and stability to the stand and is also a pretty handy storage place for it when I don’t need it.

If you would like to make one for yourself (maybe to get your start on YouTube…), I made a SketchUp model that’s free to download:

Simple Camera Stand

And also made an exclusive build video:

I’ve not completely given up on the POV camera, but will use it sparingly from now on for shots that make sense.