A remote release, either cable or wireless is an essential piece of photographic kit, but there’s always the odd occasion when you don’t have one to hand.
If you find yourself in this predicament, activate the self-timer as this will trip the shutter after you have let go of the camera and any vibration has died down.
In most cases the 2-second delay option will be sufficient.
If possible, combine the self-timer with mirror lock-up or exposure delay mode to avoid the risk of vibration from the mirror movement creating blur.
6. Spread the weight
Even when you’re using a good tripod it can be hard to get a shake-free image when shooting on a wet beach.
The legs just keep sinking in deeper and deeper into the sand.
If you’re lucky, you’ll find that pushing the legs deep into the sand creates a solid base for shooting, but it means that your tripod is covered in sand that needs to be cleaned out of the joints and sometimes it doesn’t work.
Some tripod manufacturers produce snowshoes that are designed to spread the weight of the tripod and prevent the legs sinking to the snow, but they work just as well on sand.
If a set is available for your tripod, it’s worth considering buying some.
Alternatively, you can create your own tripod shoes using flat stones, old plates or even roof tiles; there are plenty of options available.
7. Take hold
How you hold the camera can make a huge difference to how stable it is and how much shake there is likely to be.
It’s best to support the lens from underneath, for example, and tucking your elbows in towards you body is better than sticking them out wide.
Some photographers find holding their right shoulder or arm with their left hand to turn their left arm into a rest for a long lens works well.
If there’s a convenient wall or fence you can use this to prop-up your arm which then cushions the lens.
Also try going down on your right knee with your left elbow resting on your (raised) left knee while you hold the camera or lens with your left hand.
This creates a kind of human monopod with the weight of the camera being carried by your lower left leg and arm and it can be a pretty stable platform.
When shooting from low angles and lying on the ground, spread your elbows apart and rest them firmly on the ground while you hold the camera.
This creates a strong triangle shape that keeps the camera steady.
Where you stand can be as important as how you hold the camera.
If possible stay out of strong winds by finding shelter behind a tree, wall or rock.
8. Deep breath
Even if you’re using a fast shutter speed, try to hold the camera steady before you take a shot.
Rather than pressing the shutter release down in a sharp jabbing motion, squeeze the camera to press the button home.
It can also be helpful to take a breath and hold it as you squeeze the shutter release to minimise any body movements.
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How to eliminate camera shake: practical tips for avoiding blurry photos
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