August 20, 2010
Let's face it - 99.99% of people taking pictures for their own enjoyment are NOT going to carry a tripod or even a monopod along with them. It ain't gonna happen. Camera geeks can bemoan this fact or even be smug about it - but that doesn't change things nor does it help.
So, how does one make the best of it when hand holding a camera?
Choose the right ISO speed the for the light available - the bigger the number the faster the shutter will click. Higher numbers (anything over 400) are handy for evening and indoor shots. Lower numbers (400 or below) for outdoor and bright shots - experiment! This is like - how much light is on your target and how do you aim at it and hit it in the light you have to work with?
Anyone who shoots guns and hits the target with consistency should be able to take a very nice clear picture under most circumstances. Even if you don't like guns or have never had the opportunity to learn - you've probably seen television shows or movies where someone is being taught how to shoot.
1 - hold the camera still and frame your subject
2 - take a deep breath and let it half way out
3 - gently depress the shutter button
Depending upon the camera you use - timing may need to be varied. But the steps above will get you decently sharp pictures almost every time.
Let's look at the cameras because here is where you have the most variation:
Point and shoot where you must hold the camera away from your face because there is no viewfinder - these are the hardest to work with. It's really really hard to hold the camera out away from you, depress the shutter and NOT move one side of the camera down with the shutter button! It can be done if you work at it - but it's not easy! Unlike using a pistol - you don't have one hand underneath the other for support - it's on the opposite side of the camera trying to keep the picture straight. So very gently depressing the shutter button is the key here.
If the shutter speed is fast (on a bright day) it's not too hard to do because the shutter speed being fast will stop the blur. If it's darker and you are taking a pic, you may want to use the timer feature. Set it for 2 or 3 seconds. When you push the shutter release button the camera can stop moving before it actually takes the picture - great for night shots.
Regular DSLR with a viewfinder - far far easier because you have the camera against your face to help hold it still. The same timer trick can be used if you still tend to push the shutter button too hard and jerk the camera. Most DSLR's tend to take better pictures at higher ISO settings too - just the nature of the beast, like the difference between rifles and pistols.
Depending on your camera - take into account the time it takes to "lock the focus". That's how long it takes the camera to automatically focus and lock on the subject. Some cameras are fast at this, others are abysmally slow.
Almost every autofocus camera has the feature allowing you to depress the shutter half way to lock the focus - some cameras beep (I like the beep others don't). So you may want to include this in step 1. Depress the shutter until you lock the focus THEN do the deep breath in step 2. This way you don't strangle from lack of air while waiting for the camera to focus.
To hold my camera steady in low light, I have been known to sit on the ground and prop my elbows on my knees, kneel on one knee and prop one elbow, lean against a wall, wrap my camera neck strap tightly around my arms in various ways to provide extra tension, prop my elbows on a half wall... I'm sure there are more - be creative.
There you go. Taking photos is fun. It's even more fun when the end result isn't blurred out.
So shoot it like a gun.
Posted by: Rev. Paul at August 20, 2010 02:32 PM (0DZhf)
I assume there's no actual shutter?
Posted by: gregor at August 20, 2010 03:37 PM (1jLiI)
Gregor - DSLR's do have a mirror. Real pros will put the camera on a tripod and - if it's a shot in low light, will put the shutter on a timer then lift the mirror so it doesn't cause any shake. Too much work for me since I am not into selling my work. LOL.
Posted by: Teresa at August 20, 2010 03:54 PM (TeQXy)
That said, I do own a tripod. Sometimes I even remember to bring it.
Posted by: CGHill at August 20, 2010 05:48 PM (mZyUc)
Posted by: Pam at August 20, 2010 08:26 PM (i3Kno)
Posted by: MGA at August 21, 2010 07:42 AM (RZtDy)
I see it happen so often on cell phones I've come to expect it. Next most often on point and shoot. And some even have a hard time with DSLR. I've also watched people take pics with these devices and I can tell nearly every time someone will get a shot full of motion blur. Just watch - you can see it as they take the pic - that little movement.
Posted by: Teresa at August 21, 2010 10:04 AM (TeQXy)
Posted by: Joey at August 22, 2010 12:54 PM (3c2YW)
I shoot my gun like I shoot my camera too.
Posted by: Laura at August 22, 2010 12:54 PM (G4roC)
Posted by: Rooo at September 30, 2010 07:34 PM (kmcFe)
Posted by: Teresa at September 30, 2010 07:54 PM (TeQXy)
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