This may be a topic that seems basic and easy, but can make a world of difference in your photographs. While DSLRs have been designed to give you better ergonomics and grip, but when you are shooting with slow shutter speeds or telephoto lenses, having the right technique can be the difference between a photo that looks tact sharp and one that has motion blurs.
Some of these techniques may feel a little weird or uncomfortable to you, but practicing these positions will help you feel comfortable with the poses and in turn help the sharpness of your photographs.
1. Tuck the Arms When Standing
One of the most common mistakes in holding a camera is to have the elbows out to the side. This mistake makes it easier for your arm to shake. This also makes your left hand hold the lens from the side, which provides less support for the camera. Instead, you should tuck in your elbows so that your arms are anchored to your torso. This helps keep your arms from swaying and also allows you to move your left hand under the lens to give it more support. Be sure to stand up straight with your feet shoulder length apart so you are in a comfortable and stable stance.
2. Release the Shutter as You Exhale
Despite what you think, holding your breath can add to shakiness! This happens because your body is freaking out from lack of oxygen. Take a deep breath and release the shutter as you exhale. Your body will be in its natural resting state and this will help prevent shakiness.
3. Lean against a Stable Object
If you are using very slow shutter speeds and still getting shakiness, try to find a wall, or something else that is stable. Use that structure to lean on and help support your upper body. I find this technique very useful when shooting inside of clubs or concerts photography I often find this to be helpful as the lighting situation is not always the best, which means low fstops and shutter speeds.
4. Brace Your Camera on Your Arm
Alright, this one might feel a little weird but if you cannot find a wall this can prove useful. What you do is bring your left arm around the right arm and hold on tight to your right shoulder. This restricts motion in your right hand. Next, by placing your camera on the upper part of your left arm, you now have a more stable base. The disadvantage of this technique is that you can’t zoom or focus with the lens, so set that up first or use your camera’s focus points.
5. Place Your Feet Flat-Footed
If you have to crouch to get a low perspective, there is a big difference in stability between the two popular ways of crouching. The first one, where you are on the ball of your feet, is inherently unstable and will transfer motion to your camera. Instead you should plant your feet so you are crouching flat footed, then tuck the elbows in either on or between your knees.
6. Sit With Your Elbows on Your Knees
Sitting down is the better choice when you have to shoot from a low perspective. However, even while sitting, there are still things you can do to improve your stability. While sitting, place your feet on the ground with your knees propped up. Place each elbow on each side of the knee using your knees as a brace.
Try these methods out and tell me what you think!
SLR Lounge has some great pictures demonstrating these techniques.