How To Hold A Camera For Sharpness

As we move indoors for shooting during colder weather, we may notice blurriness in our photographs with the decrease in light.  While we can turn on the shake reduction (SR), vibration reduction (VR), or image stabilization (IS) setting available on most digital cameras, there are ways of holding your body steady that will reduce blur in your photos.  Below are examples of right and wrong ways to hold various cameras: DSLR, compact, or phone as well as tips to increase stability for sharper photos.

  • Keep your elbows together, against your chest.
  • Keep your left hand under the lens, rather than on the side.
  • Lean slightly into camera, holding it tight against the forehead.
  • Keep your legs open.
  • Lean against a solid object like a counter, floor, or your knees to increase steadiness
  • Use the viewfinder instead of the rear screen
  • Push shutter button on a slow outward breath
  • Take more than one shot (or continuous shots)
  • Double check the focus (use focus lock)
  • Use exposure compensation to reduce blur (experiment!)


Other tips:

Optimize how you grip the camera. It’s important to hold your camera firmly but not tensely, and to use both hands. Make sure that your arms remain close to your body and in a comfortable position. Using your camera more often can also make your grip feel more natural and get your hand muscles more acclimated to the task. With large lenses, make sure to place one hand under the lens and the other on your camera.

Practice better shutter button technique. Always try to press the shutter button half-way first, then gently press the button with no more pressure/speed than necessary. It might also help to pay attention to breathing. Try taking a deep breath, exhaling about halfway, then pressing the shutter button.



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Wrapping your camera strap around your wrist can not only keep it out of your way but gives an extra reassurance that it won’t be dropped!

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