Creating a Dolly Shot with a Tripod

The dolly shot is the mark of a professional video. This smooth camera movement can easily raise a production's value with audiences. However, professional dollies and cranes are expensive to rent. It's possible to make your own, but those take up time and room to set up and aren't always practical. So, how can you add a dolly shot to your videos with out using a dolly? Just use your tripod.

Step 1: Get the Right Tripod

In order to create dolly type moves, you need a tripod that has a fluid head. These kind of heads allow you to pan and tilt the tripod so that the movement is very smooth. It gently feathers in and out of the moves you perform. It also provides some resistance, which makes it easier to perform the move at a constant speed. Anyone who is serious about videography should invest in this kind of tripod.

Step 2: Use the Tripod to Create a Dolly Move

You can use your tripod to create dolly in and dolly out moves for your shot. First, position the tripod so that one leg is directly under the lens, while the other two are extended behind camera. When you lean forward on the tripod, you want to be tilting the camera up at the same time so that it is constantly level. This creates a shot that looks like the dolly was being pushed forward while the camera was booming down. You can reverse this shot by leaning backwards with the camera and tilting down.

You can only create dolly in and out moves with the tripod. You can not create a dolly left or dolly right move.