Photo by Rick Hanson - Use a tripod when shooting macro work to reduce the chances of shake creeping into the shot.
Camera shake, which can occur when you're not holding / supporting the camera correctly, can really spoil your shots but it's a problem that can be easily fixed. Most cameras now have features that help them prevent camera shake, however there are still a few things the photographer can do to limit or even remove the shake that blurs your shots completely.
1. Use A Tripod
This may seem like an obvious response, but sometimes it may not be your first thought to use a tripod. A tripod will make a big difference to images if camera shake is a recurring issue. If you're travelling light, even a small tripod / stand that you can keep attached to the bottom of the camera will be handy for placing the camera down without worrying about scratching the bottom.
2. Shutter Speeds
If you're working handheld, try and use the fastest shutter speed possible to minimise the risk of blur. If you're working in low light, try upping the ISO a little to enable you to shoot with faster shutter speeds, too. If your camera doesn't tend to produce good-quality shots when higher ISOs are used, take your tripod with you so you can use longer shutter speeds without having to worry about shake spoiling your shots.
3. Remote Release
A remote release will enable you to trigger the shutter without physically pressing the shutter button and causing minute vibrations which can cause shake. Some cameras also allow you to trigger the camera using a connected smartphone or tablet device, which will work just the same as the remote release to stop vibrations. You can also use your camera's self-timer if you don't have one as even though you're still touching the camera, the timer should mean the camera's stopped moving by the time the exposure begins.
4. Stance and Breathing
The way you hold your camera can have a big effect on the amount of blur caused by your own movement. Hold the camera with two hands close to your body and make sure your feet are shoulder width apart. If composing with the screen, keep your elbows tucked in as you'll stand a better chance of capturing a steady image. Being conscious of your breathing can further minimise shake. Some suggest taking a deep breath, holding it, taking your shot and exhaling while others prefer to do it the other way around. It's not something that's recommended for very long exposures though!
5. Use Objects For Support
You may find leaning against a tree or a wall useful to steady your images. Do use the built in level if you do this however to make sure that your horizon stays straight, as leaning can cause wonky images. You could also take a beanbag out with you or if you're really struggling to find a support, see if your camera bag will help.
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