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13- Sharp Pictures

We’ll address focus issues a little later on but the most effective way to take sharp photos is to keep the camera still.

Tripods are the best way to achieve this but they aren’t all that practical for everyday photographer so let’s assume you are shooting handheld.

IS (VR) will help but it isn’t magic. Faster shutter speeds will also help in this area but again, it’s not bulletproof. Bottom line- you need to keep the camera as still as possible.

First thing you need to do is brace it well. Start by holding the camera in your left hand near where the base of the lens meets the camera. This used to facilitate operation of the focus ring as well but that doesn’t much matter anymore. Find something comfortable.


Place your elbow firmly into your body to act as a support. Keep your other elbow in close to your body as you grab the camera with your right hand. It will look something (but not exactly) like this. Those of you with day jobs might actually be clean shaven.


When it comes to take the shot make sure to gently SQUEEZE the trigger. Don’t push it. Trust me, most people push it. This will give the camera a slight jolt and will show up in your photos.

If you’re having trouble with this there are a couple of moves you can try out.

MOTOR DRIVE. Okay, I don’t know what this is actual called now but in the old days you had a big motor drive on the camera that fired the film through in rapid succession. You have one built into your DSLR. Activate that feature to snap 3 photos in rapid succession. If the first is a little blurry there is a good chance the second one will be sharp. You have already gotten past your little trigger-push move. Maybe the third one is the winner.

TIMER. This feature is nothing short of awesome and is painfully simple. I use it pretty often. Your DSLR will probably have 2 timer settings. The standard 10 seconds and an additional 2 second timer. The 2 second timer can often eliminate the trigger push effect.

Lastly, when do you snap the photo? Take a deep breath, exhale and snap. Don’t underestimate the effectiveness of this move.

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