Thursday, August 26, 2010

Photography Tips: How to avoid Camera Shake

One common problem that every photographer has come across is called "camera shake".  This issue causes blurry photos (due to not holding the camera completely still) and often happens in situations where there isn't enough light.  Camera shake can happen with even the smallest amount of movement and can only truly be avoided by using a tripod, preferable with a cable release.

Camera shake happens more with digital cameras than film cameras, mostly due to holding the camera at arm's length to view the screen.  The fact is, the further away you hold the camera from your body, the more likely you are to experience camera shake.  Your body can often be used as a tripod itself, so holding the camera far from you--especially with one hand--will usually result in a less-than-sharp photo.

If you don't have a tripod, or are in a situation where you can't access your tripod, your body can be used as a stand-in.  Remember that two hands are better than one for holding the camera.  The right hand should be used to push the shutter button and grip the back of the camera.  The left hand should be used to support the weight of the camera (around the lens or underneath the camera).  The hands perform as two legs of a tripod and your body should be the third.  

If you are near a wall, lean against it.  If not, kneel down or sit indian-style and rest your elbows on your knees and/or thighs.  It may not always be convenient or comfortable, but it will almost always guarantee you a steadier shot.  If you can't lean, sit, or kneel, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold the camera as close to your body as you can with your elbows tucked into your sides.  

I hope these tips about camera shake help with cutting down on blurry photos and improve your photo quality.  Go out and try it and let me know if it works!   :)

~Kara Stewart


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