Holding Your Camera Properly
by Mike Holloway
I thought I’d do a little article on this because it is quite an important point that people often forget about.
DSLR cameras can be quite weighty things and with a big old lens they don’t always hold still that easily. This makes it really important to hold your camera properly to avoid camera shake.
When a photo opportunity appears from nowhere we need to grab it as quickly as possible. But don’t be too hasty!
Sometimes even with the correct shutter speed selected hand movement is more than enough to ruin the photo. Lenses with image stabilisation help, as do fast shutter speeds and tripods of course. But here are my top tips for holding the camera to prevent unnecessary photo disasters!
1. Have a strong grip with your right hand. Cameras are increasingly well ergonomically designed, with a place to take a firm hold of the camera body with your right hand. Make sure you can take the full weight of the camera with just your right hand.
2. Support the lens with your left hand. Position your left hand underneath the camera body and lens so that the weight of the lens is fully supported. Hold the lens so that it is unable to wobble around.
3. Find something to lean against. If possible, find an object – a tree, a wall, whatever – to take some of your weight. Aim to be as still as possible at the moment you take the picture. Resting against an unmoving object will help this.
4. Tuck in those elbows. It’s easier to keep your arms still if they are nice and close to your body. Tuck ‘em up at your sides! Keep those elbows in close and make yourself compact.
5. Breathe carefully. This is the most important tip probably. I always think about my breathing when I take pictures. Sometimes I just hold my breath to be still at the moment of capture – it works! Sometimes I take the photo after exhaling in the pause before I inhale again. Breathing moves your body a lot, so this might sound a bit crazy but it’s really important to get right!