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How to reduce camera shake

Fuzzy and blurred images of that once in a lifetime moment are the stuff of nightmares.

Shaking limbs while trying to shoot that all time image is a common problem with photography. But don’t despair; there are a few things you can do to eliminate this pesky issue.

Posted on: Wed 14 Nov, 2012 by Gary Dean


When you’re twisting and turning, weaving and whirling then making use of what you have to hand is the best, and sometimes only, option you have – in this case your actual body.

Speak to any experienced snapper and they will tell you that the first thing to get used to is shooting your subject with your elbows tucked in.

This is the quickest and easiest way to avoid that dreaded shake. Pulling them in as tightly as you can is best practice. Also make sure you exhale just before you press the shutter. Even taking a gulp of air can introduce a wobble.

Arch your (left) shoulder

This technique is fine whether you’re a right or left eyed photographer. It will feel a little unnatural at first if you are just starting to use it – but it does work.

The key to this method is keeping your left elbow tucked tightly into your rib cage while your shoulder offers a perch.

Depending on the size of your camera it could feel a little awkward as this technique tends to favour longer lenses, which you may not have. Still it could be worth a try…

Use your knee

We all know that a tripod is the best way to avoid camera shake completely but when you’re out and about you may not always have one readily to hand. Or do you…?

Crouching down, with your free hand cradling your camera, rest it on one of your raised knees. Elevate your shooting arm for greater stability and hey presto, you have a relatively solid ‘body tripod’.

The only downside with this is that you could feel slightly unstable – particularly if it’s a blustery day. The type of image you capture using this method will also be of a lower angle and you may not necessarily want this.

Get on the floor

Going even lower, you can always lie down on the floor and use the ground as your stabilising platform.

Tilting your camera up but with it still in contact with the concrete may be tricky but you will reduce camera shake without a doubt.

The types of shot you end up with will also prove to be interesting as this is a unique angle to be shooting from.

Phone a friend

If you have someone accompanying you then use them as a camera rest.

Rest your device on the top of their shoulder or, if too tall, get them to crouch down. You could also get them to bend over so you can use their back, but don’t be surprised if you get some odd looks from passers-by!

Local area

If you can, use objects from your local scenery to rest your camera on. Usually there are plenty of hard surfaces to choose from although it may take some scouting around until you find the best angle.

Whatever type of photography you are aiming for, think a little about what you’re trying to achieve and then use what you have available to get that steady shot.

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