It’s great that these new smart phones can take such incredible video, audio and pictures. In the past it took tens of thousands of dollars in equipment to produce the video quality that today is available to anyone with pants pockets and a cellular plan.
But I’ve always found taking video frustrating because that incredible camera is trapped within an awkward little wafer that can’t be mounted on any tripod that I’m aware of.
So I’ve taken the ultra-thin design that Steve Jobs spent half his life working toward and made it huge and clunky again!
Now to be fair, you can actually get fancy tripod attachments that reportedly work for smart phones. The cheapest you’ll find are about 13$, and you still have to have a tripod to attach it to.
But do you really want to pay money for something – and wait days for its arrival – when you can make your own, plus earn tons of DIY cred at the same time?
Plus, this puppy works in way more places. Here it is set up on top of the fridge to shoot some cooking videos I’m doing for another project.
Our cat is the star of her own show too, called Life of Valescka (it’s really bad, don’t bother with it – seriously.)
The phone we’re using is the HTC one X, but it’ll work with any fancy pancake phone – such as the popular iPhone.
Ready to build your own mason jar tripod? Assemble these ingredients. You probably have all this lying around your house already.
- 1 quart mason jar with flat sides if possible
- various sized buckets with lids for height.
- thick small rubber band from broccoli
- 2 women’s hair ties
- weights for inside jar
Click the thumbnail picture to see a closeup.
The rubber band doodad makes everything work. Tie your hair ties on exact opposite sides of the rubber band. I’m not sure what this knot is called, but I did not cut any of my bands.
This works best if you can use one loose hair tie and one tight one. In my example, the green tie is quite a bit looser and is used closer to the base. The red is tighter so it fits perfectly around the narrow top.
We use our 5 gallon buckets for height. Need more height? Add more buckets. We use them in conjunction with smaller 2.5 gallon buckets to get more precise.
To adjust the angle, we use corks as spacers – which works okay but not great. That’s the biggest drawback to this design – adjusting the upward and downward angles.
A great feature of using a glass jar is that you can see right through it! It’s only slightly awkward pressing the “record” button if the record button is on the touch screen, but you only need to do it once per shoot.