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Back to basics: how to hold a camera

Camera shake is a common problem when you are shooting in low light and the results are obvious when importing your photos into your computer and reviewing them on larger display than your camera LCD. Photos seem soft and blurry. It is said, anything above 1/60 seconds of exposure needs a tripod because you cannot hand hold the camera while releasing the shutter without minimal shakes. Even the tiniest movement of the camera may cause blur.

Off course, a sturdy tripod is the best option to eliminate camera shakes. In some situations however, you cannot use a tripod and your subject is not still enough for exposure of 1/60 seconds and beyond. So how to hand hold a camera?

The camera has to be held using both hands. I've seen lot of amateurs holding the camera with one hand and composing using the LCD panel. You could get away with that in high light situations but you better bring that camera closer to your body in lower light situations and off course use the viewfinder instead.

Having said that, the best technique to hold the camera is to follow these guidelines:

  • Your right hand should be resting on the right side of the camera body and your index should be nicely and gently resting on the shutter release button on top. The remaining fingers of your right hand are curling around your camera body. The right thumb grips onto the back of the camera ready to dial in settings as needed. 
  • Your left hand should be supporting the weight of the camera and lens therefore, it should reside under the body with your left thumb and index free to change lens zoom and focus if needed.
  • Tuck your elbows into your sides and lean the camera out a little from your face (around 20cm). 
  • Stand straight and put your feet apart to give yourself a proper balance. 
  • Put one leg slightly in front of the other (around 30cm) and rest your weight on that leg.
  • For more stability, lean against an object like a wall or a post, car, etc.
  • Before releasing the shutter, take a gentle and deep breath, hold it, then take the shot .

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