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Unread 01-12-2011, 11:24 PM   #1
tfcreate
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Basic Camera Technique

The title says it all.
Stability is the key:

if you're standing straight, both feet planted firmly about shoulder width apart, the foot of your dominant eye nearest your subject you have a good start.
Imagine shooting a bow or a rifle. The aiming technique is identical.

Hold your camera firmly, but not in a death-grip.
Relax your shoulders and upper arms. Tension will cause you to shake and get fatigued.

Press the shutter release with your finger tip by just bending at the knuckle. Moving your entire finger can move the camera.... that can ruin your shot.

Oh yes... don't forget to breathe... I know, it sounds silly. But if you hold your breath for a few seconds your pulse will rise, causing your camera to move in perfect rhythm with your now bounding heart rate.

A little practice and this stuff becomes second nature.
Here's a vid by one of my favourite shooters. He covers much the same thing for those who can't endure walls of text, have /ADD/ADHD/ are impatient.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDsx3...eature=related
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Last edited by tfcreate : 01-12-2011 at 11:26 PM.
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Unread 04-05-2011, 11:35 AM   #2
brucer007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tfcreate View Post
The title says it all.
Stability is the key:

Oh yes... don't forget to breathe... I know, it sounds silly. But if you hold your breath for a few seconds your pulse will rise, causing your camera to move in perfect rhythm with your now bounding heart rate.
I would like to build on your ideas about holding a camera steady:

Your suggestions will probably be helpful to some, or many, but everybody has a difference way we are built. In my experience, there is no one-technique-fits-all, when it comes to holding a camera steady. A variation or different technique might work better for some. Also, different terrain, or different angles will not allow us to stand as you described. Sometimes we might need to be very low to the ground by sitting, crouching, kneeling, laying on our stomach, etc.

Regarding breathing: I choose to hold my breath when I use very slow shutter speeds, like 1/8th, 1/15, 1/30th, etc. If I breathe when I press the shutter, my body will move more than if I hold my breath during the moment of clicking the shutter. Breathing makes my chest move. I can't afford any extra movement when I use slow shutter speeds. After I take the photo, I breathe in between shots. This works much better for me.

Thank you for contributing your experiences to help others tfcreate.

Last edited by brucer007 : 04-11-2011 at 12:42 PM.
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Unread 04-27-2011, 12:20 AM   #3
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Ah thank you. For sharing the video and your advice, it's very helpful.
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Unread 06-14-2011, 04:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brucer007 View Post
I would like to build on your ideas about holding a camera steady:

Regarding breathing: I choose to hold my breath when I use very slow shutter speeds, like 1/8th, 1/15, 1/30th, etc. If I breathe when I press the shutter, my body will move more than if I hold my breath during the moment of clicking the shutter. Breathing makes my chest move. I can't afford any extra movement when I use slow shutter speeds. After I take the photo, I breathe in between shots. This works much better for me.
Back before I ever picked up a camera, I was taught to never hold my breath. Of course, I was shooting an M-16 instead of a Canon but I believe this rule still applies. At least for me. When I hold my breath, my body still moves as my heart beats and the blood pulses thru my body. Instead, I was was taught to take a deep breath then slowly release my breath as I gently pulled the trigger. Also, try not to jerk the trigger. Just slowly pull the trigger till the shot fires off. Jerking can also be the cause of camera shake. I have an expert ribbon in marksmanship.
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Unread 06-19-2011, 08:55 AM   #5
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I tried Cabusi's described method of pressing the camera trigger/shutter while releasing my breath. I found that my chest was contracting, making my camera move slowly downward, causing my camera to be a bit less stable. That difference could easily be enough to blur my image when using slower shutter setttings.

Hearts will always beat, so that is a constant that is not changable for most living people, so I don't see how holding one's breath while pressing the shutter would hinder the quality in any way. By holding the breath, I have basically eliminated one element that tends to make my camera move.

I did not hear a reason for why it could be a bad idea to hold one's breath while shooting an M-16 Rifle. Maybe doing so while feeling the kick of such a rifle could be a health risk of some kind.
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Unread 06-20-2011, 05:21 PM   #6
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I too take a breath in and hold it for anything under 1/50 (depends on focal length, the lens itself, and of course the presence of VR/IS). . . and ive found that locking my arm braced in my strap (Blackrapid RS DR-1) helps things along as well

and im pretty sure a DSLR isnt exactly an Assault Rifle in terms of handling
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Unread 06-21-2011, 06:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shoji-Aoyama View Post
I too take a breath in and hold it for anything under 1/50 (depends on focal length, the lens itself, and of course the presence of VR/IS). . . and ive found that locking my arm braced in my strap (Blackrapid RS DR-1) helps things along as well

and im pretty sure a DSLR isnt exactly an Assault Rifle in terms of handling
As a former instructor in both, I can say that they are quite similar body position and breathing technique wise. You don't hold your breath really, you release your breath until your "aim point" falls on your target. Then you have 3-5 seconds to press the shutter release before you begin to get movement from your pulse. I posted a link to a video that shows camera technique from a world class/award winning photographer. Those of us who have had training in the service see the parallels, and adapt the technique accordingly. It works for me. As for others, it would be foolish to say this is how it is and everyone else sucks. It's a starting point. That's why it's referred to as a basic technique.
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Unread 06-23-2011, 04:02 PM   #8
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The video posted for hand grip is a good one.

I don't shoot rifles but the concept is you breath while shooting because after running a mile its hard to hold your breath to shoot a rifle. Its better that you learn to regulate your breathing so you don't pass out or or make breathing rhythm eratic as your body's going for air. So applying the same works with a camera. If you had to run up 3 flights of stairs and try to hold your breath you might get one shot off before screwing up your breathing rhythm. But holding your breath while not under physical strain works also.
So this is a YMMV issue, tune your technique to the way you go about getting photos.
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Unread 01-10-2012, 03:30 PM   #9
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Thank you for all the excellent info here! Great stuff!
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Unread 05-26-2012, 09:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brucer007 View Post
Hearts will always beat, so that is a constant that is not changable for most living people, so I don't see how holding one's breath while pressing the shutter would hinder the quality in any way. By holding the breath, I have basically eliminated one element that tends to make my camera move.
In regards to that^ Im not sure if it REALLY effects the picture but your heart rate speeds up when you hold your breath (im a nursing student). try it out: find the pulse in your neck and hold your breath and you can feel it speed up immediately.
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Last edited by expiredgumiworm : 05-26-2012 at 09:44 AM. Reason: typo
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Unread 07-25-2012, 09:56 PM   #11
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I think this guy is a turd. But he makes sense.
http://youtu.be/ILu8pDBS7-c
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Unread 09-07-2012, 10:53 PM   #12
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Ahh, I hold my breath, too. It works for me, so long as I'm not using super long shudder speeds. Then I just breathe in between shots, haha
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Unread 02-28-2013, 11:54 PM   #13
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I've taken note on what I do when taking pictures, especially at 1.4 with minimal depth. I won't take a breath, rather I'll stop breathing for 2/3 seconds while I take the picture. Inhaling takes too long and by doing so you can end-up moving a bit as well.

Stopping breathing sounds odd, but try it instead of breathing in as if you were going to hold your breath in for 30 seconds or whatever. I find it much easier.
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Unread 03-10-2013, 01:15 PM   #14
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I usually let the camera do most of the work. My job is to give it the light it needs.
I shake a lot theses days because I am very old and frightened.
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