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

  • Jujun

    Ohhhh! Finally, I found a normal resource that clearly explains what to reap, and most importantly FOR WHAT !! Thanks for the work!

  • Svetlana

    Thank you very much. Everything is intelligible. Comments are also very helpful. I also find a lot of useful things there.

  • Baatra

    Good afternoon,

    And this is not a typo (about the Golden Rule):

    "... So it follows that shooting handheld with short focal length wide-angle lenses is much easier than long focal length lenses on the body ..."

    After all, 1/200 (telephoto) is clearly shorter than 1/20 (wide-angle). Those. instead of “simpler” you should write “more difficult”.

    • Do_Oraemon

      Not a typo. Try to shoot three hundredth and wide and you will understand that there is a gap between them. To shoot with televisions, you really need iron hands, due to the small viewing angle. Compare 8˚ and 50-60˚ of review. A half-degree shift near the TV set will lead to disastrous results, while at the width it will be barely noticeable.

  • anonym

    I have a Canon 600D, according to the description, it turns out I do not fall under the GOLD RULE. For example, I’ll take a lens with a focal length of 55 mm, then what value of the ejection should not exceed?

    • Arkady Shapoval


      • Andrei

        Thank you, Arkady, very sensible and accessible.

  • Victor

    And I just made a rope for the length of the growth of the loop on both sides. I put it on the lens and on the leg. and the result is on the face. don’t have to wear a monobot. try it. conveniently.


    You are just SUPER ... You are our savior ...

  • Ivan the Good)

    Thank you Arkady! A very good resource. Easy, affordable, interesting.

  • Sergey P.

    A very good result gives training in shooting at least airguns. Preferably from a rifle with optics, costing at least 100 UE. BUT! It is training, not shooting cans in the nearest forest plantation. Those. or with an instructor, or at least according to the instructions available on the Internet, of which a cart and a small cart.

  • Irina

    It is intelligible and clear. Even for a beginner))) Thank you!

  • Anatoly

    My question is this. Nikon 18-300 lens As I wanted to buy it, I thought that the zoom, that's all. But it wasn’t. Why don't I have good sharpness at the long end? Could you tell?

  • Alexander

    I am about the so-called MICROSMAZ, I have been using the D7100 for six months. Applying the golden rule, even on a focal 200-300, no micro-grease was observed. Yes, even if it were, simply reducing the photo in post-processing to which 18-20MP will help get rid of all micro-lubricants. So don’t be afraid to buy the D800 D600 D7100 and don’t be conservative :)

  • Dmitry

    I don’t understand about the flash? Did you mean the built-in? What is the use of flash?

  • Dmitriy

    The golden rule is half described and is valid only for full-frame cameras. For crop type 600D and D5200 and other similar class of cameras, the formula 1 \ (focal length * crop factor) is valid. We analyze 600D and a half-inch 1.8mm as an example: we read the instructions for the photo and see: the crop factor of the matrix 1.6. take the focal lens and multiply by the crop: 50 * 1.6 = 80. accordingly, the maximum shutter speed is 1 \ 80, but if you don’t know the flies in your hands, shiver = guaranteed grease)
    Nikon has crop 1.5, we multiply ourselves, I don’t like Nikon)

  • Alexander

    Thank you for the article. I always remembered the rule, but I did not think about the fact that crop should be taken into account. Live and learn.

    • Julia

      So the article just says "effective focal length". And as far as I remember, EGF = Focal length * crop factor

      • prime_k

        Effective focal length = Real FR shown on the lens.
        Equivalent focal length = Real FR X Crop factor (Canon = 1.6, Nikon = 1.5)

  • anonym

    Without any "water" it is short, clear and intelligible. Thanks!

  • Agate18

    I would like to add a few words from myself.
    In addition to the methods mentioned by the author, there are at least 3 more.
    1 - technological: some manufacturers build the stabilizer into the “carcass” (the micro-movements of the sensor compensate for camera shake in the hands).
    2 - technical: if you carry a regular lace instead of a tripod (three-legged or one-legged), then by making two loops at its ends, you can hook one to the toe of the shoe and the second to the lens. With the proper cord length and cord tension, an ultralight, compact and fairly effective stabilizer comes out.)
    3 - physiological. I disagree with the author about the benefits of weightlifting, although I understand that this is partly a joke. But weightlifting will rather, on the contrary, prevent you from shooting from your hands, since the "jocks" have high muscle tone, they (there are exceptions) do not know how to deeply relax, respectively, the camera in their hands shakes more than in an untrained person. On the contrary, engaging in static sports, such as hand-shooting, or static qigong, yoga, martial gymnastics (such as Tai Chi Chuan), lowers muscle tone, allowing you to achieve very impressive results.

    Have a good shot!

    • prime_k

      And there is. After the "bags" at the unloading work, people cannot draw, their hands are shaking.

  • Agate18

    I apologize for the carelessness under item number 1, the author of the article mentioned it!

  • Red

    Please tell me how much you can deviate from the “golden rule” on a crop camera when using a lens with a stabilizer?

  • Sergei

    Question about the golden rule - If I have a Nikon crop, the lens is 18-140 mm. When calculating the maximum allowable exposure time, take into account the focal length used for this picture, or in any case, the maximum focal length is taken, i.e. 140? That is, if so, in my case it is 1 / (140 * 1.5) = 1/250, which is a very fast shutter speed. With such optics only in the daytime and in the sun ... though there is a stabilizer built into the optics

    • Andrey Super

      Of course to consider.

    • Andrey Super

      In my opinion this is a lens for crop factor.)
      Not 1/250, but 1/160!

      • Maksim

        Yes, I also always think so, not in the golden rule they add the crop factor but in the estimation of the focal length of the lens.

        Those. I have a Nikon crop, and fifty fifty for a full frame. Accordingly, I just know that I actually have 1.4mm in my hands, and then 75/1 if I want to with it))

  • Nelly

    Very useful and most importantly accessible articles! Thanks for the work!)

  • Sergei

    I would add another way. not applicable on all cameras, but still.
    I use burst shooting. fotash a series while there is enough memory buffer, at least one photo with acceptable sharpness is obtained. the rest are deleted.
    applicable on cameras with a more or less high burst speed.
    I have a D7000. 5 frames per second, if I'm not mistaken. favorite lens - 35 / 1,8. a couple of times 1/3 came out of hand, but this is like a record))), and so 1/10 - 1/15 - can be practically guaranteed.

  • anonym

    “Just turn on the flash. Flash is much easier. The camera will decide everything by itself and you will almost always get a sharp shot. For best results, you can lower the ISO and set the aperture value depending on the task. "

    What nonsense!

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Take your time, indicate what, in your opinion, is nonsense.

      • Artyom Shamardin

        The flash “freezes” the movement only when it is the main light source, but in the case of shooting indoors we have at least two of them - light from windows and / or lamps on the ceiling + flash. Hence, with the usual exposure parameters, which the automatic camera will expose, the effect of multiple exposure will be obtained - first the frame is exposed by the ambient light, then the second time - by the flash. Hence, ugly edging will turn out on moving objects, and micro-smears in the frame as a whole. The problem is solved in two ways, depending on the tasks. If a well-exposed background is important, then you will have to raise the ISO and minimize (but not completely eliminate) this effect by shortening the shutter speed to 1 / 250-1 / 320 sec. If the background is not important - you need to lower the exposure to a level where the picture without flash at this exposure will be almost black, then the flash will be practically the only source of light and will freeze objects even at long exposures. The best option is to set the ISO in such a way that the frame is underexposed by 2 stops, while setting the shutter speed at least 1/250 sec and then working with the flash, which will give a detailed background and minimize shake.

        • Arkady Shapoval

          And why then was writing about nonsense. And there are subtleties in any business, it was immediately necessary to supplement the article with your own tips, although they are already in other articles on the site.

  • retro

    Dear author, a wonderful article for children of the middle group of the kindergarten. Permissible hand exposure is for static objects 1 \ 30 sec., And not for static, even if you are Arnold or Muhamed Ali, nothing will come out anyway. The exposure time should be 1 \ 125 and not lower. Not bad hands, but an object in a shiver. Tips for changing the exposure do not always work (it all depends on the creative idea of ​​the wizard) It follows from your article that if you don’t take it, don’t take it off. We shoot absolutely calmly for 1 \ 8-1 \ 60 s.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      There is always much to strive for, and the number of subtleties is always higher than basic skills.

  • Eugene

    Arkady, you are a good fellow and are doing a good and useful thing) Forgive people who just need to show off (albeit very competently at times), because I apologize for the other thing in this case, you will not say. Do not pay attention to the owners in principle of a smart head, but a very tactless language. It’s just that they can’t and cannot know how to attach themselves to your already popular project. Patience to you and new creative heights.))

  • anonym

    Or maybe you just need to drink less ...

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