“Steady that shot” how to shoot slow shutter speeds

Do those available light photos sometimes come out a little fuzzy? Maybe you won’t even try a low light photo. Let’s look at some techniques for shooting in low light that may help. We are not discussing time exposures here just slower shutter speeds.

Some of the first steps are to adjust the shutter speed/aperture combination for low light shooting. Generally speaking try to open up the aperture to allow shooting at a higher shutter speed. You can also change the EI value on the camera. If you normally shoot photos at EI200 and the camera indicates this photo will be shot at 1/15sec then increasing to EI800 will allow you to shoot at 1/60sec. And of course the higher the shutter speed the less camera movement is visible in the image.

Now get a grip. Extend your hand, palm upright, with the thumb pointing away from you. Lay your camera in your hand with the thumb and forefinger wrapping around the lens. This distributes the weight of the camera down your arm. Place your other hand in the shooting position with your finger over the shutter release button. Now bring your elbows into your body and snug the camera top against your forehead. You now have a mini tripod made from your upper body. Much of the camera movement will now be absorbed by your upper body. All you have to do now is Frame+ Focus+ Hold your breath+ Squeeze the shutter release.

Now lean against a wall, sign or lamppost. Spread your feet apart and slightly forward. When in this position and holding your camera as above you can shoot at 2-3 slower shutter speeds than normal.

When shooting with long lenses many photographers choose to use a monopod. A long multi sectioned tube with a 1/4×20tpi stud on top that screws into the tripod mount on your camera or long lens itself.

Sandbags can be placed on a wall, the ground or an open car window to cushion and stabilize your camera. Emergency sandbags can be made from a pair of socks or small plastic bag.

Tripods are three legged structures with a provision for mounting the camera at the top providing a rigid but adjustable platform for stabilizing the camera and lens. Many photographers will also use a remote shutter release and some will lock up the mirror to further reduce vibrations when using a tripod.

Of course, for hand holding your camera, a well toned set of muscles help. So occasionally doing some upper body strengthening exercises will also help.

In a quick shooting situation you might try wrapping the camera strap around your arm to tighten up your grip on the camera. Or with the strap over your shoulder extend the camera until the strap tightens up for a little more support.

Plan your stance and stand your plan Frame+ Focus+ Hold your breath+ Squeeze the shutter release.
Have fun shoot lots of pictures-Larry Grayam

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