ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Hold a Camera

Updated on August 27, 2010

Blur caused by camera shake is one of the commonest faults in negatives exposed with the camera held in the hand. This is understandable because most amateur snapshots are taken with shutter speeds of 1/25 and 1/50 second. Most people think that they can hold a camera steady for such short intervals. But actual tests show that shake is common at all shutter speeds up to 1/150 second. Even so, it is fairly easy to learn to hold a camera steady at 1/25 second.

Photo by Sanja Gjenero
Photo by Sanja Gjenero

Gripping the Camera

The exact way of getting hold of the camera body will depend on the type of the camera used, on its size relative to your hands, and on personal preference. The grip to aim at in every case is one which permits pressing of the release (and operation of other essential controls, e.g., rangefinder focusing knob where appropriate) without detracting from the support which the hands should give the camera. This is often a matter of trial and error; try different holds and see how comfortably you can release the shutter while still holding the camera still.

Cameras with eye-level finders are best pressed against cheek and forehead for steadiness, with the hands gripping each end of the body. With a folding model, the ringers of one hand may, if there is room, curl round one side of the baseboard, or else be tucked behind it. In either case, keep all fingers clear of the lens and rangefinder windows (if any). If the camera is in an ever-ready case, use the third and little fingers of one hand to keep the lid or flap of the case out of the way of the lens when necessary.

A camera strap can increase steadiness, too. For that purpose, shorten the strap until the camera lies well up on the chest with the strap hanging round the neck. Then bring the camera up to the eye, and hold it so that one or both hands are inside the loop of the strap. A certain amount of outward pressure will then tension the strap and keep the camera firmly pulled against the face.

The normal hold for a camera with waist-level finder (such as the old box cameras as well as reflex models) is to press it against the chest keeping both arms and elbows close to the body. If the camera or case has a neck strap, it is again useful to shorten this so as to bring the camera up as high as possible for comfortable viewing. Pulling against the strap will aid in holding the camera steady.

Finally, release the shutter smoothly. To do this you must practice until your finger can take up the first idle motion of the release quite quickly, and then squeeze steadily until the shutter trips. Do not try to release the shutter with one sharp movement or you will almost certainly jerk the camera. Aim at maintaining a uniform pressure throughout, without worrying about when the actual release will occur.

Camera Supports

When making a fairly lengthy exposure, look around for something to brace your body against or rest your elbows upon. By using a tree, the side of a building, a lamp post, the top of a car or a gate, you can greatly reduce the risk of camera shake from the start. It is even better if you can hold the camera itself against something solid like a tree or lamp post.

If you are forced to work without some such support, go down on one knee and brace your elbow against the other, like a marksman. If this is impossible, or if it results in an unsatisfactory viewpoint, then at least stand with your feet well apart and your heels flat on the ground.

Breathing

Some people find it easier to breathe put and then release the shutter, others breathe in and release the shutter while they hold their breath. Both of these methods lead to trouble if you have to wait before you make the exposure. The best way is simply to breathe naturally throughout the release.

Finally, waste no time over the operation. Do not prepare to release the shutter until you are quite ready to shoot, then proceed without hesitating. If you spend needless seconds at the ready you will stiffen up, start worrying about camera shake, and inevitably produce it.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)