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Most tripods use a standard camera mount, which is basically just the right size screw, so you need a tripod, and you need a mount to hold the phone.
Joby make a nice mount: http://joby.com/griptight-one-mount which is pretty robust and grips well.
In terms of tripd, there are two ways you can go: A small, portable tripod which you would need to mount on a table, or a floor standing tripod. Which one works best really depends on the room you have to set it up.
Most floor tripods have telescopic legs which collapse into themselves, usually in several parts (similar to a telescopic cane) and you can control each section of each leg independently, they then fold in together so something that make stand 5ft tall and 3ft wide when erected, may take up less than two feet long and hand width folded.
While you can get similar (but smaller) setups for table use (which fold down to the length of your phone and not much thicker), another option is a "gorilla grip" style table tripod - basically each leg is flexible and can be bent pretty much however you like. You can then use it like a tripod, or wrap it around a pole, or hook it over something etc. I have one setup (and left) on the handlebar of my exercise bike so I can sit my phone in it when I use the bike. The main trick with that is if you fold it up to put away, you then need to flex it in just the right way to set it up the same again. Whatever kind of desk tripod you get, one trick is having one that is stable enough, or large enough, to hold your phone without tipping - some of the smaller ones, unless you balance them just right, will be inclined to fall forward under the weight of the phone). I think the one I have is: http://arkon.com.au/arkon/rvtrixl-arkon-11-inch-tripod-with-phone-holder-mount-for-live-mobile-broadcasting.html?sqr=Smartphone%20Mounts& (note that many, such as this one, come with the phone mount so you don't also need say the Joby one I linked above).
As for light source, trial and error or getting someone to sit and practice with you will be best here. The iPhone is pretty good at using available light, but you might find that a small lamp (table or floor or whatever, you shouldn't need anything too fancy) helps.
You've noted that the main requirement here is video for sign language, but just in case, one other add-on worth mentioning is that you can also get add-on microphones. I've used the Rode Videomic Me and as far as I can tell, it's about the best value for money for this kind of mic: http://www.rode.com/microphones/videomicme If you are making video calls from a relatively quiet room, I probably wouldn't worry too much about this, since the iPhone mic will do a pretty good job. Where a microphone like this is really useful, is if there is any background noise. The iPhone's microphone is omnidirectional, that is, it will pick up sound from every direction equally. Something like the Rode Videomic Me is Unidirectional - it will cut out almost all sound that isn't directly in front of it.
I hope some of that helps!
On Mon, Jul 17, 2017 at 10:25 AM, Jennifer Jackson <jennsjackson@...> wrote:
I am looking for tips about tripods. Brand suggestions and usage tips are both welcome.