Avoiding Camera Shake to get Great Digital Photos

This article will offer some practical tips to solve the problem of Camera Shake

Article by David L. Whittle

It is so disappointing when you look at what you thought were some great shots only to find that they are blurred! Needless to say, this brief moment in time, which you thought you had captured, has gone forever.

I think we can all say that we have been there at some time. This article will offer some practical tips to solve this problem.

Blurred photos can be for a number of reasons.

The first and most obvious is camera shake and you can identify this if your shot is totally blurred.

The way to stop camera shake is to hold the camera steady!

The first and obvious way is to use a tripod but how many people carry a tripod around with them all the time. However, using a tripod, particularly in low light is the best way to get sharp images.

If you do not have a tripod always try to use something to steady the camera – a bean bag, prop yourself against a post, fence or wall or anything that will steady the camera.

Another way to eliminate camera shake is to hold your camera properly! Holding the camera one-handed and with your arm fully extended, is a sure way to get blurred photos.

When you cannot prop your camera then use your own body. Lie down or sit down and brace the camera against your knee.

Tuck your elbows in tightly together and against your chest. When you are ready to shoot take a deep breath, exhale, stop halfway, hold your breath and take the shot.

Press gently! Stabbing down will shake the camera.

On a slightly more technical level, and if your camera can do it, consider using a shorter lens, or a wider aperture which will give a faster shutter speed, or use a higher ISO setting.

A general rule-of-thumb is that when a tripod is not available, do not use a shutter speed less than the focal length of the lens e.g. not slower than 1/300 if using a 300mm.lens, 1/50 if using a 50mm.lens – and so on.

Note: If you are buying a new camera look for "Image Stabilization" or "VR"(Vibration Reduction) which is an in-camera way of reducing blur or camera shake.

As with all aspects of Digital Cameras, experiment until you are confident with your results, then just delete your test photos. The only cost is your time.

David Whittle is a camera enthusiast who believes that advice to beginners and novices should be kept simple but sufficient to get them out there taking great shots as soon as possible.