The Cove - shot on a 3 mile hike, using a tripod!

Camera Shake
A little tip this week as everyone gets into photography for the holidays. Many, many photos are ruined by camera shake. Essentially this can be described as motion of the camera while shooting. The best way to avoid camera shake is by using what photographers know as the “reciprocal rule”. That is, you should never shoot below the inverse speed to your lens length. For example, if you are shooting a 50mm lens, you should not try to shoot an image below 1/50th of a second. If you are using a 200mm lens, that should have a shutter speed of not less than 1/200th of a second and so on.
Proper holding of the camera is also something to consider. One of the things that makes me cringe is when I see someone using their LCD screen on the back of the camera to compose a shot and then take a picture. Holding the camera out at arm’s length is a sure way to get a blurry image. Better to use the viewfinder, hold the camera in one hand and the lens in the other – with elbows in tight to the body. This gives one a much better and far more stable way to take a picture.
Of course, you could also do what I do – over 80% of my images are taken with a tripod. Superior stability is why I do that as often as possible. But, sometimes we can’t take a tripod somewhere, and that’s when it’s good to know how to shoot properly for best results. Happy Shooting – and remember – stability equals clarity and better images.

Dawn - taken using a car roof as a stable platform

Flock of Sheep - handheld, using a long lens and higher shutter speed

Frozen Fog - handheld using a 50mm lens and 1/100 second