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There are may ways an image can be made unsuitable. Camera shake and poor focus are two of them. How does it happen? How can you prevent it? And what if you don’t even have one of those ‘fancy schmancy’ cameras?
When first setting out to research this subject, of course, the top of Google for ‘blur camera shake’ was a post from DPS. In it, Darren Rowse explains the difference between camera shake and poor focussing.
Today, I’ll talk about how to prevent them from happening.
As Darren said in his post, camera shake and the resulting motion blur are a result of the camera moving during the time of exposure. Which means that there is movement while the shutter is open and the sensor is gathering information. For particularly long exposures (like evening landscapes or trying to capture a waterfall in soft, beautiful motion), a tripod will be necessary. But even the movement caused by putting your finger on the shutter button can cause blur so you can use a remote control or set the self timer and take your hands off.
If you use a point-and-shoot, camera shake and blur could be a problem if you’re not operating in the appropriate mode. For instance, trying to capture running children in portrait mode will probably result in motion blur. Try sports mode.
For the DSLR users, the heavier the camera, the more stable it will be and less likely to be moving about due to hand tremor. Research proper camera holding and stance for maximum stability.
Some lenses have IS (image stabilisation) options which help to reduce camera shake (and battery life!)
Camera shake becomes less and less a problem the faster your shutter speed and the more light is available. If you’re in low light, opening your aperture to let in more light will allow you to quicken your shutter speed, but then you might have to battle poor focussing.
My pet peeve is improper focus. I’m sure the majority of photographers operate in auto focus mode, unless they’re photographing still life. This means that we allow the camera to focus for us and it does it in a variety of ways.
If you use a point-and-shoot, the solution it pretty simple. You hold down the shutter button halfway until focus is achieved and then push it the rest of the way down. The only reason you’d be likely to end up with poor focus is, as I said before, you’re shooting in an improper mode. For example, you’re shooting a landscape in macro mode.
For us DSLR users, focus becomes another monster all together. Consult your camera’s manual and familiarise yourself with the focus modes and the focus areas because both of these factors result in proper focusing. And you might find this post useful too
On the subject of pet peeves, what’s your biggest photographic annoyance?