One of the easiest ways to prevent camera shake is to develop a proper handholding technique. Nowadays, lots of people don’t hold their cameras properly when they take a photo. So I’ll show you what I mean.


Video Transcript: “If you’ve used a point shoot camera or maybe you use a live life view screen on the back of your DSLR, you might hold the camera out here and compose using the screen. Now that’s fine for composition purposes but you’re out here you actually have a lot higher potential for camera shake because your arms just get tired and can’t hold the camera nearly as steady.

Tips To Avoid Camera Shake.

• Use the viewfinder to compose images.

Another thing that people will do is they will stand parallel to their subjects. So say for example I’m going to take a picture of this tree that’s over here. I don’t want to stay and stand like this.

• Stand Perpendicular To Your Subject.

I’m actually set up to take a picture of this flower and instead of being parallel to it. I’m not facing it, I’m perpendicular to it. So my body is pretty much at a right angle to this flower. So if I’m going to take a picture of this, I’m going to turn like this. What that does it gives me a wider base compared to the flower. So my feet are actually really stable.

• Keep Your Elbows Close To Your Body.

Another thing that you want to do is not hold your elbows out here so, I’m not going to hold my elbows like this and take a picture. I’m going to push them into my body. So what that does again is, it stabilizes your camera with your elbows and your body so that you have one solid base that’s keeping your camera stable. So more like this less like this. Where you put your hand is also really important. Some people hold their camera like this. Some people might hold their lens like way out here if it’s a big telephoto.

• Find The Balance Point Between Your Lens And Camera Body.

One of the best places you can put your camera is, it actually you’ll feel a little bit of balance. So if I put my hand up here. It’s not balanced. If I put my hand here, it’s not balanced right under here. I can feel that the camera is really balanced. That’s about the best place that you can hold your lens.

So let’s do a quick recap:

• Get feet perpendicular to the subject
• Have elbows pushed into the side
• Have the hand under camera and lens where it’s balanced
• Have camera up to the face

The last thing when you put your camera to your face you can actually push it against your head a little bit or push your head against your camera. That gives you a little bit of resistance and pressure there which adds just a little bit more stabilization. So when you combine all, it’s going to look something like this. I’m going to be able to take a really solid steady photo and hopefully not have camera shake because of how I held my camera.

Joe McNally Grip Technique.

Another technique to reduce camera shake is called the Joe McNally grip well simply because Joe McNally popularized it. The whole idea is to use a camera to rest on your shoulder simply because your shoulder is going to be typically more stable than your hands. So for this to work though you need a higher profile camera. So if you have the camera like this I’ve got the Fuji one or a regular DSLR our camera.

Need a Battery Grip On Your Camera.: You would need the battery grip just because your shoulder is so much lower. So what I’m going to do is, I’m going to simply place the battery grip on the left shoulder like this, tuck my hand right hand in and then use my left hand to support. So for this, I’m going to have to now use my left eye to look through the viewfinder. It might feel awkward or a little bit but it really works. So try it out. So once again yes like this. Or facing front.

Long Lens Technique.

Now there’s a separate technique for handholding really long lenses. So in this case, I have a 70 200 it’s not the super long lens but it’s big and it’s heavy and it has a tripod foot. So I’ve seen photographers do this try to photograph. Now you can see that it’s really not stable when you go like this so try if you have a tripod leg on the lens try not to hold the tripod leg simply. Move it to the top. Or just detach it if you don’t use it on a tripod just detach it and now you can actually hold the lens.

Now, this is the important part you don’t want to hold the body. I’ve seen a lot of photographers go like this. Now the cameras are really good and the Mount points are strong. But one thing you have to keep in mind he consistently uses your camera with a big lens like this and you just let it go then your mouth is getting a lot of stress because the lens is so much heavier than the camera. So all that stress is on the Mount. Eventually, you might either damage the mount or is going to be tilted if it tilts. Then you’re going to have a lot of blurry pictures.

The worst I’ve seen is one picture looks sharp on the top and reality blur in the bottom and that potential it can happen just because of the mount. If it goes at a particular angle. So the best way to handhold this is you want to handhold by the lens. That’s where all that weight falls. And if you put it on your hand like this you can actually see where it bounces the most. So you don’t want to hold it here because it’s too much back balance or too much so to the camera so it’s now front balance so fine a point where it’s a good point of balance and the same technique you want to be pushing the camera. Really close your body with your hands tucked in one of the feet on the front and push this close. And you’re ready to take a picture.

Stabilization By Leaning.

Let’s talk about one handholding technique that might really actually help you with reducing camera shake when you’re working the field. Well, I have John here with me and I’m photographing here in kind of a shaded area. What I’m going to do is I’m simply going to lean against the tree and take a shot. So I have my hands tucked in and leaning nicely here. All right, well the image is looking nice and sharp. If you have a similar situation you’re especially shooting with a portrait lens and you don’t want to be rocking back and forth or potentially introducing camera shake just because your shutter speeds are too low. Just find something stable that you can lean against. It could be a tree. It could be a car that’s parked. It could be really anything like a wall. Just keep that in mind.”

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