Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Photography: 7 To Reduce Camera Shake

Now that i finalized the article, the main problem was getting the images because i just couldn't find my point and shoot camera to illustrate with proper images. Turned out my mother had borrowed it while she was over because she wanted to sell some stuff on the internet.

Now lets get to it

I took pictures of myself in the positions that i use the most when shooting, and as the weather is often cloudy here in Sweden and i find i like to keep my ISO to 100 and a larger small apreture (larger f number) because i shoot alot of landscape to get it all in focus i often find myself using shutter speeds of 1/6 1/4 even 1/2 to get proper exposure. Now sometimes this means getting dirty and some times it means looking a bit weird in the crowd, but that something i have gotten used to.

Let sort this out by the times i use each style:

1. The the elbows together - most common for me

This is a position where i try to get the center of gravity as central in my body as possible, and i hold my elbows together as tightly as i can, sort of creating a triangular shape. Works good, but sometimes you will get blurry shots at 1/6. 1/6 seconds is doable in this position but takes practice.

2. The shoulder lean - common as well

This is a position that is very similar to the one above, but takes time to get used to it. In this position i press the camera with my right hand into my shoulder so to speak. The great thing about this position is that you wont get shake from breathing (lungs) or the beating hart because all you got over there are bones and muscles. Note, this position is better with longer lenses, not so good with the 50mm.

3. On my knees - like this one alot to.

This is a position that i also find myself using alot. I place one knee behind touching the ground and lay my leg flat down, creating some stability and then i flex the other knee as seen in the image below and then i lean one of the elbows on the frontal knee (often the same side so to speak) and put my weight forward on this knee and elbow while pressing the camera towards my face so to speak, so everything is nice and tight. This is a position that i can easily shoot 1/4 and 1/6. But once again it takes practice to master, not that i have mastered it yet.

4 Twisted Knee - Looks unstable buts its not really

This is a tricky one, but i actually find myself using it more and more. Its easier to use with longer lenses (i kind of regret using the 50mm as the lens on my camera but what can u do about it). In this position i lean my weight forward on my most frontal elbow that is leaning on my leg that is pushing back, sort of locking everything together. You can either have the back foot in the position as shown or flat on the ground. I find this way more comfortable. Tightening your muscles before the shot is taken makes everything a bit more stable in my opinion, so try that out. Don't forget to hold your breath.

5. Laying down - flat on the ground

No doubt that this the position that you will be the holding the steadiest shot because your whole body is laying on the ground. Works great, really nice. But be aware that your clothes can get dirty depending on the ground surface. I was taking these shots at home, but i often wear dark clothes when photographing just for the fact that i can lay down on the ground and not get dirty. There are two alternatives to this position, and the only difference is the hand that your leaning the lens on, either you lay it flat on the ground or you place it in a "punching" position, depends on how much height you need. But laying it flat is going to give you more stability.

6. The spiderweb - Comfortable.

This is pretty much where you create a human tripod. Spread your legs as in the shot and lean each shoulder on the knee/leg this works great to even out all the force so to speak. And lean a bit forward tends to help. I like this position and i use it when i want the "lower" angle shot.

7. From the hip - nice and easy

I press the camera against one of my hip hones with both of my hands and see how things turn out. This can get you some pretty good shots because you can't really tell what you will get in frame. But i have a pretty good idea of what i will get in frame if i m shooting at 18 for example. Lean a bit forward and push the camera into your body. This position works great for getting those "surprise" shots where people don't really think your taking a picture untill its too late.

Hope that helped some people out.
Now i would like to point out some "general" pointers while i mon the subject! Hold your breath for a while when taking the photo, and make sure you have a steady grip on the camera. And have the strap attached some were don't have it hanging about like i have it in these shots, its unsafe. Now i was just doing a quick example and wanted to speed things up. Have the camera around your neck/hand or what ever suits you.

If you have any good positions that work take a photo add a little explanation and i will be more then willing to share it here.


user said...

Alex, I really like to thank you for all the work you are doing to share your experience in photography. You are very helpful and resourceful. Keep it up!

Alexander Blacker said...

Hello, i m very glad your liking it and its helping you somehow! Thanks for checking it out and i hope to see you back! Thanks!

I will keep it up!

ice said...

Hey Alex,

Nice illustrations dude, especially the shoulder one I've never used, looking forward to it :) I'm also using another position which really seems nice with my 105mm lens, I'll try to take a photo of me today and I'll upload it to flickr so you can see.

Alexander Blacker said...

Thanks mate,

just place a link over here and i will throw it in the blog

Graham Pakiam said...

No offence - but 2 and 5 make anyone look kinda stupid :D

Great tips though Alex!

I'm using one which makes me look like I am half hugging myself with one arm(right), and then I rest the camera(left arm) on the bend where my elbow is. It's pretty stable but no pictures though!