As amateur and professional photographers, we all want clear pictures. If what we capture isn’t clear, it isn’t of much value. Not even for the sake of sentimentality. I think many folks wonder if there are tried and true methods for holding a camera with the intention of stability in mind. I’m here to tell you that there is. You can hold a camera in such a way that will reduce, or even eliminate, camera shake. All you have to do is alter what you’re already doing and follow a few tips.
Tips For Holding Your Camera Steady
I’m going to offer a few tips on how best to hold your camera. I know – we all have our habits. If you’re having issues with blurry pictures though, it’s time to break those habits. Start now and continue on throughout your days of taking photographs.
1. Use your left hand as a post. Some of us may hold our cameras with both hands, while both of our elbows are sticking out like two chicken wings. While this may offer a nice, natural grip on the camera, it doesn’t do much to keep the camera from shaking. Those slight movements towards the end of the lens can be magnified if your subject is far enough away.
A better way to hold the camera is to tuck your elbows in toward your ribs. Continue holding the camera the same with with your right hand, but keep that elbow close to your chest. As for the left hand, instead of holding the lens so your hand is shaped like a “C,” flip the hand over and shape it like a “U.” So if your thumb is close to your face, rotate your hand so your thumb is now further away from your face. Also, tuck your left elbow into your ribs as to use your arm as a stable post. This will take much of the shake out of the camera and make for much clearer pictures.
2. Change shutter fingers. When taking portrait oriented photos, instead of holding your right arm way up and away from your body in an attempt to keep your pointer finger on the shutter button, change your fingers so you are using either your middle or ring finger to push the button. Then, move your right arm back down so it’s closer to your chest. This will have much of the same effect as my previous tip, keeping everything snug and tight as to reduce camera shake.
3. Stand firm and strong. If you stood with your feet about a foot apart and in the same position as each other and asked someone to give you a light shove backwards, you’d most likely stumble back. Now, if you stood with a firm stance, one foot in front of the other, like a boxer stands and asked the same person to give you a shove, you most likely wouldn’t move at all. Believe it or not, your stance can add to or reduce the stability of your camera, so stand strong, with one foot in back of the other and pretend that you’re in the ring.
4. Breath slowly and smoothly. For most of us, when we’re out shooting, we’re excited. Our hearts may be beating at an advanced rate and our breathing may be short and quick. Needless to say, this type of atmosphere is no good for keeping our cameras steady to focus in for those clear photos.
Back when I first began taking pictures, I realized how much my breathing was affecting my shots, so I began holding my breath, and then pressing the shutter button. It took a while to realize that I may have been doing more harm than good. What I had done was, instead of having my camera move slightly because of short, quick breathing, I had my camera move because of the shaking, or trembling caused by my breath being held.
Over the years, I found that taking a deep breath and letting it out was much more relaxing to my body than holding my breath. The deep breath gave my body the oxygen it needed, so when I was ready to hold up the camera to focus it, I was neither breathing quickly, nor shaking. I actually wasn’t breathing at all. The deep breath gave my lungs a break for a few seconds, which, in turn, kept my camera steady.
5. Go easy on the shutter button. One of the easiest ways to shake your camera after having it all set up is to do it with your shutter finger. For some reason, many beginners think that they need to really push down hard on the button, when, in fact, they don’t need to push hard at all. If you are lifting your finger off the button after every shot and then tapping it down to take your next one, you may have better luck with keeping your finger put. In fact, don’t lift your finger at all.
In order to properly and smoothly push your camera shutter button, rest your finger on it lightly. When you push down to focus your camera, keep the pressure there until you’re ready to shoot. When you’re ready, continue to push lightly until the picture is taken. Once that happens, don’t let your finger up. Continue to hold it on the shutter button until you’re ready to shoot again. You should never even see your finger move – that’s how gentle you should be.
Interested in reading further? If so, you may want to take a look at the following resources:
I hope these quick and easy tips help you out when trying to take crisp, clear photos. If you’re interested in more easy tips for great photography, be sure to check out our photography category above.