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Avoiding The Shimmy Shake While Taking A Picture

Aug 18, 2007
Very few people have a completely steady hand when they hold their camera. Movement is natural, and shaking while taking a picture can be awful for the outcome and what you are left with. Camera movement is the most common cause of blurry pictures. How can you stop the shaking?

If you are like me, I bought a digital camera with image stabilization. It has been a Godsend for me since I have a constant problem with shaky hands. But there are ways to minimize shakiness when taking pictures.

When a point and shoot picture is taken, the shutter stays open just long enough to make a good exposure. If there is not enough light, the shutter stays open so long that the image is blurred by the movement of the camera. Camera shake is caused during slow shutter speeds.

If there is any movement while the shutter is open, it will show up as motion lines and ghost images. This often happens in low light with longer shutter speeds needed to expose the images.

Many people think that ruined photos are blamed on focus when the real culprit is usually camera shake. How can you tell the difference? If you see ghost doubles in the image, the problem is camera shake. Actually, its quite easy to tell. If your picture is blurry and jaggy, the camera was shaking.

In fact, zooming makes camera shake worse. The more you zoom in, the more the camera shakes. Getting a sharp picture requires a much higher shutter speed than if you are using a wide angle lens.

So, when you are shooting while holding the camera, you need to have a faster shutter speed. Consult your cameras manual to learn how to do this.

There are also things you can do yourself to help minimize camera shake. Start by planting your feet firmly on the ground. Steady your upper body by tucking your elbows in close to your sides. And hold your camera firmly against your face.

Now you are ready for the big moment. Take a deep breath and gently squeeze down the shutter release in one motion. Gently now.. if you press down too hard on the button, you could jerk the camera downward. Even breathing too hard can cause the camera to move. Try stabilizing yourself by leaning against a wall or a tree also.

Of course, if you get a tripod, you can completely eliminate camera shake, but when taking candid photos, thats not a viable solution. However, using a tripod can be the shaky camera persons answer. So can a camera that offers image stabilization.

The best advice we can offer is to hold still. Some cameras have only an LCD monitor for viewing, which means you have to hold the camera away from your face to see what you are shooting. Its hard to keep still in this position, but you have no choice unless your camera has a conventional optical viewfinder. Hold the camera in both hands, and place your elbows in against your chest to steady it. Or lean against a wall, pole, tree, etc.
About the Author
For several years now, Jason has been reviewing hundreds of online products and services. Many consider his reviews to be very insightful and reliable. Visit his website bestcamerabargains.com
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