There are some basic techniques required to ensure that you have a stable platform on which to start taking your photos. If you have a compact camera and are using an LCD as a viewfinder, you may find it hard to believe, but holding your camera still will be more difficult than using a bridge camera or a DSLR. This is due to the fact that compact cameras are so small and light.
- Use both hands to hold the camera.
- Keep your elbows bent and tight against the side of your body.
- Sit down, if possible, and rest your elbows on your knees.
- If your compact is fitted with a viewfinder, use it.
- Gently push the shutter button–don’t jab at it. A nice, firm but gentle push will reduce movement in the camera.
- Place your left hand palm up and let the base of the body and the lens sit in the palm of your hand.
- Your right hand should hold the grip on the body with the index finger on top of the body and over the shutter button.
- The left hand can control the focus and zoom on the lens.
- The right hand index finger can control the shutter button and the dials.
- The top of the viewfinder should touch your eyebrow. This gives you three points of contact for the camera to your body.
- Keep your elbows tight to your body, thus reducing the movement of the camera.
Both these positions may feel slightly awkward to start with, but persevere and keep practicing. The results will be well worth it. After a while it will become natural.
Get to Know Your Camera
Now that you know how to best hold your camera, read your user manual and make yourself familiar with all its features. Play around with it and try every feature to become aware of the capabilities of your camera. Don’t be afraid to be adventurous. Modern cameras have so many amazing features. Get to know them and get your money’s worth.
Practice, practice, practice. Take as many photos as you can. Look at them and see what’s wrong. Learn how to improve. Work with your camera. I guarantee it’s capable of so much more than you realize.
One last thing–and probably the most important: have fun! Enjoy the experience. This is not a chore; it’s an opportunity for you to capture some amazing images and memories that you can keep forever.
About the Author
Christopher Tierney writes for Photo World UK, which is designed to make understanding the basics of good photography a little easier.
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