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Are you as bad as me at taking "hand held" photos?

Hi all

Why is it, not matter how still I am, whether I am standing up or laying down, resting my arms on the ground or have my elbows in the air I don't seem to be able to take a sharp photo?

It's not because of low light conditions or slow shutter speeds, Sunday morning I was in the garden and even with the shutter at 2000/sec I still had trouble taking shots.

At least I have a tripod but there's not always time to set that up.


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FrankThomas 12 2.8k United Kingdom
28 Jun 2004 8:18PM
Could be that you are trying too hard ?? I know sometimes I tense up when taking a picture - guarantees shake. Try relaxing and see if that helps?
zippie 11 1.3k England
28 Jun 2004 8:23PM
What gear are you using ?

Someone on here (I believe it was Nyx) once told me that when taking a photo, keep your arms in tight to your body, and breathe out when pressing the shutter, and it works for me !
SuziBlue 12 16.2k 10 Scotland
28 Jun 2004 8:25PM
I'll second Zippie's post. Once I started breathing out when pressing the shutter, rather than not breathing, my shots got considerably sharper. I also stopped going blue in the face.

agoreira 11 6.0k Wales
28 Jun 2004 8:26PM
Not sure what the answer is, apart from sharpening after in PS, or whatever you use. You read all this stuff about taking a breath and holding it etc, etc, but I never remember that! Make sure you are squeezing the trigger gently, rather than snatching at it, but I'm sure you've tried all this before! I would guess well over 90% of my shots are hand held, I very rarely use a tripod. When I go out, it normally gets left behind in the car, along with the monopod!

FrankThomas 12 2.8k United Kingdom
28 Jun 2004 8:49PM
I must admit to using a tripod more often than not, along with mirror lockup too but then, my camera is a bit of a beast to hand hold. (A neckstrap makes quite a bit of difference though)

kelart 11 570
28 Jun 2004 9:11PM
i wish i could use tripod more often. well, my photos are shaken more often when i'm using the tripod than when i'm not. it's time to buy a more sturdy one.Smile it's not good to shoot quickly from the hip like john wayne (even if some pros look like they do during glamour sessions).
FrankThomas 12 2.8k United Kingdom
28 Jun 2004 9:13PM
if you are using studio lights then a tripod isn't so necessary as the brief flash duration freezes any movement anyway
brian1208 Plus
12 10.8k 12 United Kingdom
28 Jun 2004 9:14PM
I am finding that my hand-held shots are improving. Partly its because I am thinking more about the "reciprocal law". (Shutter speed at least equal to 1/focal length ((I usually try for at least twice that)). However, I think my greatest improvement has come from using an old rifle target shooting trick.

If I feel I am wavering (usually the case) I set the focus manually to approximately the right adjustment, then deliberately move the camera to get the final focus point. As I cross the point of focus I press the shutter (gently - as Frank said). I don't know if it will work for others but it helps me.

For longer exposures it has to be proper support - monopod, tripod, railing - anything to anchor the camera. (I've been experimenting using the monopod at its shortest, then trapping it between my body and a suitable firm base - it looks to have possibilties)

28 Jun 2004 9:15PM
Tripods! Even that word puts the fear of whatsisname into me! I've nearly dented my youngest's head with one of those cos I didnt have the knack, better now though, think ePZ ought to have a tripod range for practice!
FrankThomas 12 2.8k United Kingdom
28 Jun 2004 9:29PM
Tripods are our friends . . . come, join us - don't be afraid!
Origami_Owl 12 786
28 Jun 2004 9:35PM
I got myself a shutter release and it's a marvelous thing when on a tripod - no more knocking the camera when you press the button. Of course the same can be done with setting the self timer off everytime.

28 Jun 2004 9:38PM
So self portraits would be a breeze with that then???
agoreira 11 6.0k Wales
28 Jun 2004 9:40PM
Or even mirror lock up with the timer!

28 Jun 2004 9:41PM
Oh blimey Frank dont blind me with science I'm a beginner! lol

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