As you know, many cameras today come with image stabilization and image stabilization. Some of these cameras use anti-shake technologies directly on the camera sensor. Others have equipped their lenses with this feature. Some more professional cameras also use a combination of these two methods to provide the best results and performance for their camera customers. Meanwhile, most of today’s cameras themselves can fine-tune the ISO value so that the shutter speed is high enough to capture clear, shake-free images. Although using these features and technological advances will help you capture better images, it is still essential that you learn how to hold the camera properly in your hands. Proper use and holding of the camera in your hands when shooting helps you to capture clear, sharp and shake-free images, even with mid-range cameras. In this article, we intend to address exactly this issue.
What is meant by camera shake?
Camera shake occurs when the camera shakes in the photographer’s hands and the shutter speed is not high enough to capture the subject perfectly still and clearly. As a result, your photo will fade and it looks as if the subject of the image was moving.
Camera shake due to slow shutter speeds usually occurs in low light environments. Because the camera tries to absorb more light and take a clearer photo by slowing down the shutter speed. The slower the shutter speed, the higher the chance of recording camera shake. Of course, misalignment of camera exposure variables can also contribute to this problem. For example, in low-light environments, the photographer should open the aperture of the camera as much as possible and increase the ISO value so that the image brightness is adequate. If these settings are made incorrectly and there is not enough light, the camera will automatically slow down the shutter speed.
What is the relationship between shutter speed and focal length?
If the shutter speed is too slow for your desired focal length, even the slightest vibration will be recorded in the image; Therefore, understanding and using the relationship between shutter speed and lens focal length is one of the most crucial aspects of photography. Always keep this rule in mind: as you increase the focal length, you must also increase the shutter speed to avoid blur caused by camera shake. To better understand this rule, look at the image below.
The longer the focal length of the lens, the higher the probability of recording camera shake, as even the smallest vibrations intensify at this distance. If you understand and apply this rule well, you can largely prevent image shake by adjusting the shutter speed.
Techniques for holding the camera properly
In addition to all the technical points mentioned in the previous section, one of the easiest ways to reduce or prevent camera shake while shooting is to use the right techniques to hold the camera. To do this, just keep a few simple steps in mind and pay attention to them.
1- Place the angle of your body and legs perpendicular to the subject
Standing parallel to the subject while holding the camera may increase the intensity of the camera shake. Therefore, we recommend that you have a 90 degree vertical angle with the subject. This will help you to have more balance when shooting. Because if there is vibration, it will be back and forth, which has less effect on image vibration. If you’ve been a shooter, you know that this position and the way you stand will have a huge impact on holding the gun steady and controlling the shot.
2- Stick your elbow to the side
The openness of the arms and elbows intensifies the vibrations and any movement in your body is transmitted to the arms; Therefore, we recommend that you stick your elbows completely to your side when shooting. Your body will act as a fulcrum and prevent possible shaking of your hands and elbows.
3- Hold the equilibrium point of the camera
It depends a lot on the type of camera and lens you have. As we all know, there are different cameras with different dimensions in the market. Some have large, heavy-duty lenses. However, every camera and every lens has a point of equilibrium. If you hold the camera from its equilibrium point, it will be steady and low vibration. Otherwise, the balance of the lens is disturbed and vibration is easily created. In other words, you will not have to deal with the weight of one side of the lens.
4- Hold the camera in front of your face
Some prefer to shoot with the back of the camera. To do this, you must open your arms and hold the camera in front of your body. As mentioned earlier, the more open your hands are when shooting, the more likely you are to record vibration; Therefore, we recommend that you attach the camera viewfinder to your face and help keep the camera still.
5. Push the camera a little with your head
When you have your hands and elbows fully attached to the sides and you are holding the camera in front of your face, we recommend that you press the camera slightly with your face so that everything is completely under your control. By doing this, you will master the camera in several ways.
Exhale before pressing the shutter button
Inhaling and exhaling can also cause vibrations in the camera and thus in your photo. So when holding the camera and shooting, remember to take a breath shortly before pressing the shutter button. Even small breaths can cause the camera to vibrate slightly. This technique is also very important in shooting and military training, and soldiers are always trained to exhale and hold their breath before pulling the trigger.
In the image below, you can see the set of recommendations in the form of an image. Note the difference between body angle and camera angle (technique number 1).
How to hold the camera properly with a telephoto lens
Techniques for holding cameras with telephoto lenses are slightly different. Using these lenses makes the front of your camera much heavier; Therefore, you must use techniques to maintain good balance and prevent camera shake. However, many of these techniques are similar to the previous ones.
- Detach the lens base or vice versa
Telephoto lenses are heavy and usually have their own stand and tripods. Because hanging them on the body of the camera may damage the camera. However, the presence of these bases makes it a little difficult to hold the lens by hand. It is not easy to balance the lens using the bases. On the other hand, prolonged use of the lens base can also tire your hands.
Therefore, we recommend that you remove the base of the telephoto lenses when shooting, or rotate them upwards, as shown in the photo below, so as not to disturb you.
- Find the best equilibrium point
When you turn the base of the telephoto lens upside down, you can easily hold the lens body by hand and find the equilibrium point. There is no specific formula for this, and when you hold the lens, you will find out where the lens is better aired and the camera has a better balance in your hands.
- Keep your legs and body perpendicular to the subject
As mentioned earlier, it’s best to have the angle of your legs perpendicular to the subject and rotate your upper torso toward the subject and shoot. This will help you to maintain your balance better and reduce vibrations. This is all the more important when using a telephoto lens because it weighs more and the likelihood of vibration increases.
- Stick your elbows to the sides
This is the same as the previous section, except that the high weight of these lenses makes the use of this technique more important. When your hand is supported, it’s much easier to bear the weight of the camera without vibrating.
- Attach the camera to your face and hold your breath while pressing the shutter button
The description of these cases is the same as the previous section.
Reduce camera shake by leaning
One of the best and most effective ways to reduce camera shake is to find a solid surface to lean on. For example, a tree or a car could be good choices. This completely eliminates the possibility of you going back and forth while shooting; Therefore, you can shoot with a slower shutter speed and blur and shake can not be seen in your images. If you use this technique, remember that you must continue to follow the other techniques and methods mentioned earlier.
How to keep the camera in a sitting position
Sitting photography may not be very common. But if you are planning to shoot from a low angle or for children, for example, this technique can be very useful for you. You can use several modes to do this. The first is to hold the camera directly in front of you and bring your elbows to your knees for support. In the second case, you have to place the elbow of your left hand on the left knee and the right knee on the ground. If you have experience shooting and working with weapons, you will find that these situations are very similar to the advice at the time of shooting. Both techniques are highly effective and the choice between them is up to you. But if you want your clothes to be less dirty, it is better to use the second technique.
Keep these in mind to reduce camera shake
Remember that all of the above are especially useful when your lens or camera is not using anti-shake systems. Cameras that have this feature will greatly help you in this and automatically eliminate possible vibrations so that you have clear photos. However, following and applying these techniques will enhance your photography skills. Normally, we recommend that your camera’s shake mode be always on, unless you want to take large images at very high shutter speeds that do not require image stabilization. But remember, if you are going to shoot at very high shutter speeds, it’s best to have the lens and camera shake off. Because in this situation, it may act against your will and reduce the speed of your photography.