Keeping the Camera Steady

Why do I need to keep my kit steady?

  • If your exposure is slower than approximately 1/125 seconds you're going to have some camera shake if you hand hold your camera. (Just how slow the shutter needs to be to start giving you shake is not an exact science, but it's around 1/125 seconds... ish...). If you don't keep your camera totally still you're likely to get very blurry pictures, and not blurry on a good way...
  • If you want to create motion blur; those car headlight streams, or that candy floss water, or so many other effects, you'll need a a steady camera, because you'll need a slow shutter speed. 
  • Using a tripod, or other stabilisation tool, or even improvisation, you get a lot more creative control while maintaining pin sharp pictures.

But isn't all that malarkey just for the pros?

It is what the photographer knows about photography, not necessarily the price of his/her kit which makes for great pictures.  That means great pictures are within the reach of everyone.  Yes some kit is better than other kit, but knowing what to do with the kit is far more important than having all the latest models. You can spend a lot on a tripod, or very little on a tripod. Both will have 3 legs and keep the camera steady. You might even decide to improvise using a treestump or a beanbag (see below) and forget the tripod. You can still get the same image if you know what you're doing. The key is the knowing - it's far less about expensive kit.

So where do I go from here?

If you'd like to learn more about what great effects you can get from long exposures click here.

If you'd like to learn a little more about the tools to use, or ways to adapt to your surroundings to hold your camera steady for those long exposures read on...

How Do I Stabalise My Camera?

The most basic way to stabalise your camera for a long exposure is to look around you and see what is naturally provided by your surroundings. Is there a rock or a ledge you can balance your camera on to keep it steady? The shot to the left utilised the services of the casing for the electronics which served a traffic light. You might be able to hold your camera steady by just resting it and tilting it with your bare hands to achieve the angle you want. You might have available props such as a coat to wedge the camera at the right angle to take the shot. We cheated for the photograph right with a tiny pocket sized tripod which cost about £5.

The problem is that our natural surroundings don't always provide the perfect solutions to keep the camera steady. For those situations, we can carry small pieces of kit to help us improvise with the natural surroundings, or carry larger kit like a tripod (which doesn't have to be heavy). A full size tripod is the best option for the best picture, but it is not always the convenient option. It's the age old quote, the best kit is the kit you have with you.

The purpose of this page is to walk you through some of the kit which will be able to assist you with this kind of photography, and enable you to make the right and informed choices for you.

It is also worth noting here that the act of pressing the shutter button on the camera can itself cause a bit of camera shake. There are shutter release mechanisms which can be obtained which will set of your shutter without having to touch your camera.

Some Stabalisation Options:

Smaller Options

Convenience

It's not convenient for you to carry a tripod. You just want a little something just in case...

Cable Releases

Look no hands!

Believe it or not, the act of pressing the shutter button can produce camera shake and ruin your picture. Now that's a downer. 


A shutter release can be your saviour.

One to One Training Calls

Now Available

  • Struggling to meet your photography potential?
  • Lacking motivation?
  • Finding all those settings overwhelming?

Our new one to one video calls could make all the difference. What are you waiting for?

Tripods

There's A Good Reason

  • Why would I want to use a tripod?
  • What does a tripod actually do?
  • What do I need to know before I buy a Tripod?

Tripod Heads

Bendy, they are...

We'll look at:

  • Different types and what they do
  • Things to consider before you buy

Some Stabalisation Options:

Smaller Options

Convenience

It's not convenient for you to carry a tripod. You just want a little something just in case...

Cable Releases

Look no hands!

Believe it or not, the act of pressing the shutter button can produce camera shake and ruin your picture. Now that's a downer. 


A shutter release can be your saviour.

Tripods

There's A Good Reason

  • Why would I want to use a tripod?
  • What does a tripod actually do?
  • What do I need to know before I buy a Tripod?

Tripod Heads

Bendy, they are...

We'll look at:

  • Different types and what they do
  • Things to consider before you buy

The above linked pages contain lots of advice and may contain some recommendations. We only recommend products that we love. It would be a dis-service to you and therefore harmful to Bart to recommend things we don't genuinely believe in. The above linked pages may from time to time contain affiliate links which will earn us a small commission (at no extra cost to you) on any purchases you make via our recommendation. This helps to support all the helpful free content and the maintenance of this website. Without this we couldn't provide you the service we feel you deserve. We'd be so grateful if you could support us, if you are minded to buy, so that we can keep supplying you with even more new and free content. Thank you and enjoy!

One to One Video Learning Sessions

Now Available!

  • Struggling to meet your photography potential?
  • Lacking motivation?
  • Finding all those settings overwhelming?

Our new one to one video calls could make all the difference. What are you waiting for?

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