Getting sharp images: every photo technique you need to know starting out
Best Ways To Get Sharp Images: 03 Keeping the camera still
Unless you are panning to track a subject as it moves across the scene, the camera should be kept as still as possible, especially as the shutter speed drops.
Hold the camera firmly in both hands, pull your elbows in against your body and steady it against your face (using the viewfinder to compose the shot).
An old rule of thumb when hand-holding a camera is that the shutter speed should be at least 1sec divided by the effective focal length of the lens being used.
This means that with a 100mm lens mounted on a full-frame DSLR you should use at least 1/100sec, which usually means 1/125sec or shorter.
With an APS-C format camera (which means any DSLR without a full frame sensor, for those who are new to all this), however, the focal length magnification factor should be taken into account so in many cases this means using 1/160sec or faster.
This guide holds good down to shutter speeds of around 1/30sec (and therefore focal lengths of around 30mm). Some photographers claim to be able to get sharp images below this, but it’s usually a bit hit and miss.
In modern times with stabilised lenses or sensors these rules can be bent a bit and it’s worth experimenting with your camera and lens to see what works for you.
It varies from person to person and the amount of coffee you’ve drunk (or alcohol the previous night) can make a significant difference.
The best way to keep a camera rock-steady is to put it on a tripod. Monopods are also useful, especially when shooting with a long heavy lens, as they allow a bit more freedom of movement while taking out the major shakes and vibrations.
When choosing a tripod go for the best that you can afford. Many novice photographers baulk at the cost of a decent tripod and opt for something cheap and light, but which doesn’t always do the job properly. As a result they end up having to buy a second tripod and spend even more money.
A decent tripod and head needn’t cost the earth these days and there are several models available for around the £100 mark.
PAGE 1: Best ways to get sharp images – Focus
PAGE 2: Best ways to get sharp images – Freeze the subject
PAGE 3: Best ways to get sharp images – Keep the camera still
PAGE 4: Best ways to get sharp images – steady the tripod
PAGE 5: Best ways to get sharp images – get a remote release
PAGE 6: Best ways to get sharp images – mirror lock-up
PAGE 7: Best ways to get sharp images – diffraction
10 rules of photo composition (and why they work)
9 secrets to using a tripod like a pro
Camera Shake: 4 simple ways to keep it under control
on Tuesday, January 15th, 2013 at 11:30 am under Photography Tips.
Tags: beginner tips, camera tips, How to focus