5 Ways to Avoid Camera Shake

5 Ways to Avoid Camera Shake

Written 12 years ago by Lee

Camera shake; Guaranteed to ruin what could otherwise have been a perfect photograph. It can be a big problem when shooting in certain situations and only the smallest of movements can play a huge role in making your shots blurry. Not good when you’re going for crispness. (not sure that’s a real word but I’m going with it)

The following tips will help reduce camera shake, giving you a much better final result when it comes to processing your shots.

1. Use a Tripod

The biggest reason for camera shake is your own movement, so if you do have a tripod it’s a good idea to use it. Your camera will be steady which is essential when you need to use a longer exposure.

2. Use a Shutter Release Cable

Even with a tripod, you can still get camera shake when you press the shutter. A shutter release cable is a wire that plugs into your camera and gives you a new shutter button, so you can take your shot without even touching the camera.

3. Use the Timer

Another way to avoid shake when you press the shutter is to use your in camera timer. You simply press the shutter and a few seconds later, the camera takes the shot automatically. Again, it’s all about removing yourself from the shooting process.

4. Make Yourself Stable

If you don’t have a tripod or the situation means you can’t use one, there are several ways you can help to reduce shake. The most important thing is to make yourself as stable as possible. Are you standing awkwardly? Could you crouch down and use your knee to balance yourself better? Maybe holding the camera closer to your body might help? Different methods work better for different people so if you do have to manually hold the camera, try and find a stance that works for you; that makes you as stable as possible.

5. Make the Camera Stable

If there’s something around you that could help keep the camera steady, don’t forget to use it. If you’re out in the mountains there will probably be a rock that you could use to rest the camera on. Out in the fields? Use a fence post. Trying to get low down? Rest the gear on the floor.

If you don’t have the tools, there are plenty of ways to improvise but the best way to avoid camera shake really is to remove yourself and let other tools or objects keep the camera steady for you.

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Tim  12 years ago

6) Use mirror-lockup

7) Use VR/IS (either a feature of the lens or sensor, depending)

Robert MacGowan  12 years ago

Also the use of a large (industrial) rubber band hung from a front belt loop can be used. When ready to take a shot hook your thumb in the rubber band and raise the camera. The slight resistance will help stabilize your hand.

Dave Yankowiak  12 years ago

Don’t forget about the string tripod trick: http://bit.ly/9LpG7R

Matthew Anderson  12 years ago

Hold the camera correctly! So many folks have their elbows up in the air as they shoot slower shutter speeds. Brace those elbows against your body and craddle the camera & lens (palm upward) with your non-shutter button hand.

Tim A.  12 years ago

If you have no other options but your camera has a way to shoot in burst mode, you can use the “poor man’s image stabilization” down to, at least for me, about 1/20. Just get a stable as possible and then hold down the shutter and take at least 3 consecutive shots minimum. Typically out of the 3 or 4, ONE would be pretty sharp if not really sharp. I’ve found in my experience, the 2nd one (I typically don’t use high speed burst but the standard one) is typically the sharpest. The first one seems to suffer from the actual press of the button, the 2nd one, you’re pretty stable now, and by the third one you are starting to move a bit.


Adrien  12 years ago

If you have a long lens, hold the camera in two places: one hand on the camera grip, one hand at the end of the lens with the elbow against your belly. Even better if you have a lens hood.

BlueRose  12 years ago

I have totally learned to love my tripod, it makes SUCH a difference – I blogged about my learning experiences with it here:

Tripod Zen

lopaka h  12 years ago

steve mccurry, from natgeo, has some great tips on alternate camera holding positions.

Mandy  11 years ago

I like to wrap the camera strap tightly around my right hand then hold the camera. It just makes the camera feel more steady and secure in my hand?

Kenyon Laboratories, LLC  11 years ago

You can always rent or buy a gyro for a professional solution!

Brian  8 years ago

Great stuff that everyone with a camera should know !!
If its OK I’ll link back to these tips from my own website..

Ann  8 years ago

I mainly us a monopod as I hike a lot and when I want to take a quick hand held one, I usually have the monopod under my arm and then I rest my wrist on it with my other hand on the camera controls and I find that really steadies my shots.

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