Digital Point and Shoot Cameras have a wonderful LCD screen that gives you a preview of your shot. This is really great when learning to take better photos, as you can see what the photo will look like before you take the shot.
However, it creates a very big problem. By keeping the camera outstretched in your arms (to see the LCD screen), you aren’t supporting the camera much. Your arms (and thus the camera) tend to move around. Not by much, but it’s enough to create a blurry image – particularly if the surrounding light is low. (Why? Because in low light the camera keeps the shutter open for longer. See my blurry photo tips for fixing that problem.)
The best way to prevent shake (and the resulting blurry images) is to use a tripod. But if you don’t have one, or it’s inconvenient to use, try these tips.
Here’s the correct way to hold your camera…
- Bring The Camera Close To You
- Hold In Both Hands
- Bring Your Elbows To Your Side
- Hold Your Breath
- Look for Extra Stability
Bring your camera close to your face and use the optical viewfinder (if your camera has one) to compose the shot rather than the LCD screen. This way, your camera is steadied by your body.
Hold the camera in both hands, and keep both elbows close to your side to give your camera the most stability. This turns your body into a kind of make-shift tripod.
If your camera doesn’t have an optical viewfinder, use the screen to compose and then bring the camera to your face. Or keep your elbows close to your body and move the camera a foot (30 centimeters) away from your face. This way your camera is still supported AND you can see the screen.
Just before you take the shot, take a breath. Hold it while taking the shot.
Finally, look for some extra stability by leaning against a post or wall. You’ll be surprised how much this can reduce blurry images.
There are other ways to reduce shake in your images like increasing your shutter speed, or using special image stabilization lenses. But holding the camera close to your body is the cheapest!