Tip: A Book and Some Powder Can Work as a Camera Dolly in a Pinch


Need to do a quick tracking shot on a table but don’t have any dedicated camera equipment for doing so? A book and some fine powder can be a cheap and easy way to get the shot in a pinch.

Paige Russell of Instructables writes that this idea can come in handy since it simply uses items most people already have in their kitchens.

You just need a platform to set your camera on at the desired height. It could be a book or two, or any solid object that’s flat on both the top and bottom — just make sure you don’t mind getting the object a bit powdery.


Sprinkle some fine white powder on the tabletop. It could be corn starch, powdered suger, flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, or whatever else you can get your hands on.

Then simply set your camera on the book and drag or push it. The powder will provide a smooth and quiet movement for the camera, though you may need a bit of practice to get a graceful tracking shot. Here’s a video showing this idea and the result:

The idea should work in a bind, but for the best results you should probably still invest in a slider or dolly system.

30 Second Table Top Dolly [Instructables]