Secret to Sharp Photos III

Using proper camera hand holding technique, even a long lens can give you sharp images. © Scott Thomas Photography. All Rights Reserved.

Using proper camera hand holding technique, even a long lens can give you sharp images. © Scott Thomas Photography. All Rights Reserved.

In Secret to Sharp Photos, I talked about holding your camera steady and linked you to a video to an advanced way to hold a camera when dealing with low light.  I did not go into too much detail on how to hold a camera steady for normal shooting.

Like anything in life, you start with the basics and build your skills upon them. A good friend of mine, Tim Devine of The Magic in Pixels, spends a lot of time in his workshops and meets demonstrating to people how best to hold a camera.  I think many people feel it is not that important.  Believe me, it is VERY important.  The first thing I ask when people tell me they get blurry photos is how they hold their camera.  They seem a bit bewildered by the question but just by holding the camera correctly can and will cut down on most of those blurry photos.

I ran across an excellent article from the Digital Photography School which goes into detail on how to hold a camera called, How to Hold a Camera.  See, basic and direct.  Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced shooter, it is a good idea to review and practice the basics from time to time.  It will help you to make beautifully detailed and sharp photos.

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33 Responses to Secret to Sharp Photos III

  1. kanniduba says:

    You forgot to mention that little detail of lenses that work correctly. (Just kidding….) Remember I was having trouble with my sharpness and wondered if it was my camera? Looks like I was on to something. I was using my 18-55mm yesterday and I wasn’t happy with the autofocus focus…switched to manual and went to take the shot. The motor kept grinding as though it was trying to autofocus and the shutter wouldn’t release. Grrrr. Looks like a trip to the local camera shop is a must.

    Like

  2. Carsten says:

    You are absolutely right about how important it is holding the camera steady if you want sharp images.
    This is certainly necessary shooting animals like this goat with long lenses.
    –I wouldn’t like to bee too close to him with that look 🙂
    Very good image, I must remember to say!

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  3. What?? I thought the secret to sharp photos was “unsharp mask”! 😉

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  4. dd_indy says:

    I had a problem similar to kanniduba’s: my zoom lens would not focus at long focal lengths. It turned out that the front lens element had come loose and partially unscrewed. Tightening it back up restored normal function, but I am at a loss as to how it happened.

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  5. Gerry says:

    That’s a beautifully detailed image, Scott. He seems to be as interested in you as you were in him.

    Like

  6. tim devine says:

    Thanks for the props, Scott. You are so correct that properly holding the camera will solve a LOT of issues. Not all, but way more than people would tend to think. Nice work.

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    • You are most welcome, Tim. It is something people tend to not think about and your emphasis about proper hand holding opens a lot of eyes at your meets. Oh, and much head shaking. I am sure many lightbulbs go off when you demonstrate it.

      Like

  7. Anna Surface says:

    That is one super sharp image and wow the detail of that ram! I had watched that video quite some time ago, yet I still hold the camera wrong when I get in an excited hurry and not using the tripod. Sometimes my zoom photos come out not-so-sharp. I’ll definitely read “How to Hold a Camera”. Great post!

    Like

  8. milkayphoto says:

    LOVE the ram, Scott! That li’l bit o’teeth just makes it! Oh, wait? The point is about sharpness? 🙂 Great tips as we all need to be reminded!

    Like

  9. montucky says:

    I like that shot, Scott! I seldom pass up a shot at a ram.

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  10. giiid says:

    This photo is SO sharp, you must have kept yourself and the camera steady like a rock…I think the Ram is impressed, too. Impressing animal!

    Like

  11. davecandoit says:

    Excellent info, Scott, thanks. That photo is absolutely stunning, to boot. Really amazing, really.

    Like

  12. Pingback: How to hold a camera for blur-free shots « the lazy photographer

  13. Nye says:

    Thanks for post Scott, my lens is a bit heavy and I have to hold it with both hands, comes to find out I got it right. I still have a problem with low light, even by being very still doesn’t seem to help.

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  14. The detail on this ram is remarkable. I agree with you that holding the camera properly is essential. I had a situation recently where I had to take my heavy 50-500mm lens off of the tripod and hand hold to capture a subject from a tight spot. It was difficult, but possible because of the advice you’ve referred us to. Thank you!

    Like

  15. As sharp as his eyes looking at you ! What a beautiful capture. Thanks for all the advice and I will have a look at “How to hold a camera”.

    Like

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