Sunday, April 26, 2009

Photo TIP #4 - the Shutter and how to push it!

TIP #4 The Shutter (not "shooter") button and how to push it!

First of all, and I write this in bold... HOLD THE CAMERA STEADY. This probably sounds like "well, duh!" but it is soooo important to taking good pictures. You can have the best subject placement, the greatest expressions on faces etc, but unless you hold the camera steady, your photo will be blurry and disappointing. Try these helpful tips:

  • Spread your legs shoulder width apart to stand as firm on your feet as possible.

  • If there is a wall or some other good surface around, lean on it or place the camera directly on top (this only works if your picture is still nicely framed).

  • Use a tripod if you have one (but I rarely do - today's cameras are able to take a sharp picture if you hold the camera steady).

  • Take an even breath, and calmly press the button at the end of the exhale while your body is still.

  • Did you notice that I said calmly press the button? A firm (not hard) smooth motion is all that is needed... no punching excitedly - this is sure to cause the camera to shake.

  • Use a flash every time (indoors and out) and your pictures will be clearer.

  • Turn on a light. The lower the light, the steadier you need to hold the camera.

  • The farther you zoom in, the steadier you need to hold the camera. Try zooming out a bit and walking closer to the subject.

Also important to know is that the shutter button can be pushed a) half-way down, and b) all the way down. PRACTISE THIS.

Have you ever taken a picture and the background was sharp, and the person blurry? Use this knowledge:

When you press the shutter button half-way down, your camera focus will "lock". This means that whoever you have in the center of the picture will become sharp. If you keep the button pressed half-way, you can move the camera around and that person will stay sharp. This is where you get to "aim"! Aim at the person or thing you want in focus (to stay sharp), press the button half-way down to lock, then move the camera to make the picture composition you really want (maybe you want the person off to the side of the picture to show the beautiful pasture they are sitting in). Remember, do not let go of the button or the focus will unlock!

When you press the button the rest of the way down (all of the way down), the picture will be taken.

So practice up! Hold the camera steady. And give the shutter button the old one-two. Go half-way every time before you go all the way! Master these two simple steps and you will be very pleased with the results!

Any questions? Just ask. Ok... a couple of examples of blurry vs. sharp pics:

Whenever you are ready, post your fav. pic on your blog, mentioning the contest (or email it to me if you don't have a blog). Then simply comment on any of my photo-contest posts and let me know where to see it!

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Beth E. said...

You are teaching me all kinds of things. I did NOT know about pushing the button halfway! Neat!

Omah's Helping Hands said...

Rachel, Thank you for stopping by and joining my blog. I'm going to love both of your blogs. I have always loved photography, but have a lot to learn, and you are just the person to help! Thank you.

Janet said...

Hi! I'm stopping in from the Titus 2 blogroll--so glad I did. This tip will be so helpful! Thank you.