Are you giving your camera the shakes?

Grace Gale, ‘Magic Touch’, awarded A Grade Highly Commended, People competition

Grace Gale, ‘Magic Touch’, awarded A Grade Highly Commended, People competition

By Julie Hartwig, Tin Can Bay Camera Club

Blurry photos are one of the most annoying outcomes in photography and there can be several causes. Blurry photos may be caused by one or more of the following, or a combination of these:

  1. Camera shake: Tiny movement of the camera at the time you press the shutter button to take a photo.
  2. Incorrect technique for holding your camera: Holding the camera at arm’s length to use the LCD screen. This creates a very unstable platform, especially if your camera is a big and heavy because you cannot support it correctly. Correct camera-holding technique for a camera with a viewfinder requires supporting the camera body/lens with your left hand and your left elbow tucked against your body. If the camera does not have a viewfinder, tuck your elbows against your body or utilise some other means of supporting your camera, such as placing it on/against a solid/rigid structure.
  3. Unsuitable shooting mode: If you are shooting on Auto, a pre-set Scene mode or P, and to a letter degree Aperture Priority, the shutter speed your camera chooses may not be fast enough for you to hand-hold.
  4. Shooting in low/poor/insufficient light: You need to use a higher ISO to give you a faster shutter speed or stabilise your camera on a tripod so you can use slower shutter speeds.
  5. Shooting with a too slow shutter speed: To shoot with a slow shutter speed, you’ll have to either choose a higher ISO or a wider aperture to minimise camera shake. Shooting with slow shutter speeds almost always require use of a tripod.
  6. Focal length is too long for your chosen shutter speed: For hand-held shooting, the lens focal length should be equal to the shutter speed. Eg. 18mm focal length = a shutter speed of 1/20 sec; 50mm focal length = a shutter speed of 1/50 sec; 300mm focal length = a shutter speed of 1/300 sec.

Next month, we’ll look at techniques to help you beat the shakes!

The Tin Can Bay Camera Clubs next meeting is Wednesday July 18 at the Tin Can Bay Library, commencing at 7pm. For more information about club activities and to view members’ images, visit

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