How to take pictures with your hands. Photo tricks. Part 3

Today we’ll try to figure out the tricks, how to take pictures with hand to achieve the best picture. Hand-held photography is divided into two fundamentally different methods - photography with flash and photography without flash. It is very important to learn how to take pictures handheld without a flash.

How to take pictures with your hands. Photo Tricks from Radozhiva

How to take pictures with your hands. Photo Tricks from Radozhiva

Remove hand shake

The main problem with handheld photography is trembling of these hands. Hands tremble, even if you have iron, you can still get a blurry picture with long exposures. There are several ways to deal with hand shake:

  1. Start weightlifting and pump up to hold the camera tighter.
  2. Mount the camera on a tripod
  3. Mount the camera on another stable surface.
  4. Group and lean on a stable surface, while you can shoot in a series to increase the chances of a successful shot.
  5. Still turn on the flash
  6. Use an expensive fast lens or camera with a stabilizer.
  7. And the most interesting is simply reduce shutter speed

Since there is no time for athletics, money for a tripod and an external flash, just like a stable surface, you will have to experiment with shutter speed. To get a good sharp shot without grease - need to shoot at short exposures. Shorter excerpt - That will make it more likely that when shooting handheld there will be a sharp shot.

How to make the shutter speed shorter?

There are only two ways. The first - open maximum aperture. The larger the aperture, the shorter excerpt. The diaphragm is the number F on the camera. And to open the aperture means lower the number F. For example, shoot at F5.6, to reduce the shutter speed you need to open the aperture, for example to F3.5, while excerpt automatically decrease somewhere in 2-3 times. If you do not know how to open the aperture, find the aperture priority mode on the camera, usually it is called A or AV (aperture value) or just read the instructions. If you have reached the maximum and the aperture is still not enough, you should think about a fast lens.

The second way - increase ISO. The higher the ISO, the shorter excerpt it will be and the easier it will be to get a successful shot. Normally, the ISO changes in the camera menu. On compact digital cameras (on soap dishes), I do not recommend raising the ISO above 800. On advanced SLR cameras, you can set the ISO to taste. More details about the pitfalls of ISO in my article how to configure ISO.

How to shoot in super short shutter speeds with the effect of stopping time, you can read here.

What is the maximum shutter speed? Golden Rule:

There is a beautiful Golden Rule. Need to be removed from handwhose numerical value should be greater than the effective focal length of the lens. Exposure usually measured in fractions of a second. For example, excerpt 1 / 10s indicates that the camera takes a picture within one tenth of a second. Likewise, 1/1250 says the shutter speed is very short and the picture is taken in just one thousand two hundred and fiftieth of a second. With such a short shutter speed, no hand shake is a hindrance. So, if you have a focal length lens X mm, then you need to shoot at a shutter speed no longer 1 / X seconds. Example if you have a focal length lens 50 mm, then you need to shoot no longer 1 / 50 with, usually standard shutter speeds faster than 1/50 s are 1/60, 1/80, 1/100 of a second, etc. Thus, it follows that shooting handheld with wide-angle lenses with a short focal length is much easier than with body lenses with a long focal length.

Attention: when using cameras with a high pixel density, the golden rule requires a little correction. For example, when you shoot on a camera with a lot of pixels, Nikon D7100, D5200, Canon 600D and the like, you should use shorter shutter speeds than using the golden rule. This is due to the high sensitivity of cameras with a large number of megapixels to micro-lubrication due to movement, in more detail here.

How to apply all this in business?

To avoid blur during handheld shooting, you need to open the aperture as much as possible and reduce shutter speed. If the shutter speed does not fall under the golden rule, then you need to raise the ISO. Well, if nothing helps, then you need to use a flash.

Other ways to overcome hand shake:

Jitter can also be overcome using lenses with stabilizers, which give a gain in 2-4 shutter speeds. Such lenses are slightly more expensive than conventional ones, but they are worth it. You can look, for example, at Nikon 70-300mm f / 4.5-5.6G IF-ED AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor. More details about stabilizers in my article Image Stabilizers. Also, some cameras have built-in stabilization in the camera. When shooting with your hands, it is better to include these types of stabilizers. But some cameras have a stabilization software solution, it almost always spoils the picture with high ISOs. And some more cameras. eg Pentax K30, have a stabilization system built into the camera itself. If all else fails, you should already think about a tripod or monopod.

Everything is complicated and nothing is clear - there is a way out!

Just turn on the flash. With flash everything is much simpler. The camera will decide everything on its own and you will almost always get a sharp shot. To achieve the best result, you can lower the ISO and set the aperture value depending on the task.


The shorter the shutter speed, the easier it is to shoot. The higher the ISO, the shorter the shutter speed. The more open the aperture, the shorter the shutter speed. When shooting handheld it helps a lot Golden Ruledescribed above.

Do not forget to press the buttons social networks ↓ - it is important for me. Thank you for your attention. Arkady Shapoval.

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Comments: 192, on the topic: How to take pictures with your hands. Photo tricks. Part 3

  • Glory

    Very informative!)

  • anonym

    Thank you very much for your articles! Very affordable and to the point!

  • Major Mahoney

    Yes, flash is an amateur friend!
    In Soviet times, I had not very good photos, so to speak. A kind man was found, he advised me to buy a camera "Amateur-166", he said it would be better. And she was right!
    I did not know what shutter speeds and apertures to use, I photographed mainly indoors.
    I bought a flash and solved this problem once and for all. Each flash had a look-up table or a ring on which all the necessary parameters for shooting stood. Since then I only had great photos! :-)

  • Anatoly

    Arkady hello, please. tell me, I can’t figure out why, under the same conditions and settings in the cameras (nikon d60 and d3300) in mode A, CAMERA sets the shutter speed far from the set according to the golden rule, several times longer than necessary, resulting in blur.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Use auto-iso and adjust the desired shutter speed in PASM modes, and the camera does not take this rule into automatic modes

      • Anatoly

        Thank you very much.

  • Anatoly

    In d60, this problem is only with a fifty dollars, from 18-55 there is no such problem.

  • Leonid

    Point 4 - to stabilize the camera and eliminate shake, use the on-camera strap, similar to how a sniper is used when shooting while standing. It helps a lot, up to the fact that you can shoot at long exposures, if with a stub - 1 sec. by 200mm. With 28 mm lens without stub up to 1/2 sec. Worst of all is with a light lens like an industar-50-2 or heavier, or according to the rule - 1 / 50sec.

  • Leonid

    I would supplement the “golden rule” with one more formula for determining the safe exposure when shooting in motion or moving objects and dynamic scenes:
    T = 1 / (25kf (v / d)), where
    k-crop factor;
    focal length of the lens;
    v-speed of movement in m / s .;
    d-distance to the subject in meters.
    This formula can be checked on the tables of Mikulin
    For myself, I simplified this formula T = 1 / (50f), where v = d, and the crop factor 1,6 rounded to 2.

    • Firear

      Also carry a calculator in your bag ?! 😂

      • Leonid

        A calculator is not needed here and nafig, is it possible that the definition of endurance in the mind by the formula T = 1 / (3f) causes a problem for someone ?!

  • Michael

    Since the film times, with the reverend Praktika-L and Kiev-19, with the use of optics of the Jupiter-21 type, i.e. up to 200 mm shutter speed up to half a second worked clearly with hands. I practically never use puff. On parachute jumps at the airfield "canon-50d" with a glass of 100-400, I went lightly from my hands. Well, yes, the shutter speed is shorter, given the speed of the parachutist's landing. Now I have converted to Nikon's faith. Even indoors, in low light, D-3 and D-700 with glass up to 300 mm pull quite a zerr buzz))))

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