How to Hold a Digital Camera to Prevent Camera Shake

How to hold a digital camera is often overlooked when it comes to strategies to ensure sharper images. Here are some thoughts to consider:

How to Hold a Camera

The precise way of holding your camera varies from person to person and camera to camera. Important however, is that you use both hands to steady your camera. This will increase stability, which will help prevent camera shake, or image blur.

Digital Camera Holding Technique© Mia Rose

Basic positioning of your hands is as follows:

Left Hand Position

The left hand goes under the lens, palm side up and restng against the base of the camera, almost as if you're 'cupping' the lens. Your finger tips point upward toward the sky or ceiling. The lens therefore 'rests' in the palm of your hand as you support the weight of the camera.

When using a long telephoto or zoom lens you may have to subtly move your left hand to add extra stability. Still, the positioning is basically the same.

Right Hand Position

Use your right hand to control the camera settings. Your right forefinger sits lightly above the shutter release whilst the other three fingers curl around the front of the camera. Your right thumb firmly grips onto the back of the camera. Most cameras these days have impressions for where fingers should go so this should feel natural.

Adding Extra Stability

When standing, put your feet shoulder width apart to give yourself a steady stance. You can, however, increase your stibility by leaning against a solid object like a wall or tree. Alternatively, try siting or kneeling down.

The stiller you can keep your body the stiller the camera will be. Of course, I still recommend that if at all possible, you use a tripod, especially in low light situations.

When holding a DSLR, I suggest that you use the viewfinder to line up your shot as much as possible. Holding the camera at arm's length to look at the LCD makes it very difficult to keep it steady. If you have a camera with a very small viewfinder (a problem on many point and shoots) and you really prefer using the LCD, tuck your elbows into your sides and don't hold it too far away from you. You'll be surprised how much this can reduce blurry images.

Lastly, hold the camera firmly against your forehead, whilst at the same time leaning your head towards the camera too.

  • Bonus Tip: Control your breathing when taking a photo. Breathe in before pressing the shutter release button, hold your breath and take the picture. Of course you can do it the other way around as well: first exhale, take a shot and then inhale. Whatever suits you better. Make sure to visit my page on sharper images for more details from expert photographers on how to prevent camera shake and take razor-sharp pics.


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