When you are using a (digital) camera and need to place it on an uneven surface to keep it still long enough for your long shutter speeds, or you want to make a shot on the release timer (or both), you’ll need a tripod, or a beanbag. A beanbag is an ideal option, you can tuck it into your backpack, take it everywhere you need and it fits all camera’s.
Sure, you can buy a beanbag from a nice company like this, and spend about 30 euro’s or more. But, If you’ve got a needle, thread, a T-shirt or linnen bag, and some rice, you can make one for free!
Start by sacrificing your linnen bag or t-shirt, cutting out two square pieces of about 23x23cm (or larger if you want to support a larger camera/lens combination). As you can see here, I saved me some sewing because I used the corner of a linnen bag. Now I only had to stich up 2 sides of the “pillow”.
Put the two pieces on top of eachother and sew them together. Don’t worry about being close to the edges, leave plenty of room there, because you will turn it inside-out later on. To be able to turn it inside-out and fill it with rice (or other forms of “beads”), leave about 7cm on one edge un-sewed. I also recommend to leave the hole in the middle of an edge. This way you’ll have 4 nice sharp corners on the bag lateron.
Turn the bag inside out. Now the edges look nicer, don’t they? Roll up a piece of A4 paper and put it in the hole of your bag, and make it into a funnel. Poor the beads (rice, dries peas or beans, or fatboy filling) into the funnel. Make sure you don’t fill the bag totally, because then it will not be flexible enough. I used about 1kg of rice for mine.
Close the bag by sewing the last opening. This takes some attention, this is the part of your sewing which could be visible. You can see where I closed the bag at the bottom right of the picture with the Powershot on it.
The beanbag I made supports my Canon EOS 350D perfectly. There are a few improvements on my list after making it. My next beanbag will:
- be made of a black t-shirt so it’s less reflecting
- be filled with fatboy filling to prevent problems when getting the bag wet (rice stinks 🙂
- be slightly bigger
- will contain a zipper or velcro on the opening so I can (re)fill it
Now make one of your own and go and use the 30 euro’s you just saved to buy nice UV lens filters. 🙂