Beginner photography is often easy to recognize because the images are blurry. The most common reason is that the photographer did not hold his or her camera steady, especially in low-light conditions when the shutter must be open longer to capture enough light. Because of the small size and light weight of many digital cameras (point-and-shoots in particular), people will hold their cameras in one hand and take photos of themselves and others at arm’s length. These can be interesting candid pictures, but not highly prized or wanted because those in the pictures are not clearly seen.
If your photography is not as sharp as it could be (for whatever reason), then the solution is learning how to hold your camera more like a professional. There will also be occasions when the most experienced, steadiest hands are not enough, and you’ll need a tripod to shoot better photos. For example, if you’re shooting groups, pets or landscape or nature pictures, then take some hand-held pictures and those from a tripod. You’re sure to recognize the improvement in your photography with the tripod.
Since most starting out in photography seem to shoot candid, casual photos of family and friends, events, vacations, etc., a tripod isn’t always practical. That’s why you should learn how to create three anchor points with your hands, body and other objects like a tripod; or at least use both of your hands, as two anchor points, to make the steadiest photo platform possible. Although there is no rule as to how to hold a digital camera, better amateurs and professionals hold their cameras much the same, with some variations, mainly because of the type of camera.
1. Grip the right end of your camera with your right hand. Your thumb is on the back right of the camera body; your index finger is positioned to push the shutter release; and your last three fingers fan down the right front of the camera.
2. Use your left hand to support the weight of the camera. You can place your left hand under the camera or cradle the lens between your left thumb and index finger. This is the best position for your left hand if you have a DSLR camera. You can use it to focus the lens or change camera settings. If you have a point-and-shoot camera, then you can also grip the left side of the camera with your left hand to still create two anchor points for your photography.
3. Composing your picture through the viewfinder will create a partial tripod-like effect. Grip the camera as described above and then anchor the back against your chest or stomach. If you prefer to shoot through the LCD, then don’t do what many beginner photographers do: They hold the camera in two hands, but their elbows are pointing left and right. Instead, bring your elbows close to your chest or stomach to make them better anchor points. Experiment with both ways and you’ll quickly discover that your photography is sharper with those elbows pressing into your body.
4. Your photography will also improve when you use another solid, unmovable object, such as a doorway, a tree, a wall, etc. to create the tripod effect. You can even ask someone to let you brace against his or her shoulder or back to steady your hands.
5. Most beginner photographers don’t realize that even the smallest movement of the body, such as inhaling and exhaling a breath, can be enough movement to blur their photos. This is another professional secret you should practice and apply. You can take a breath and hold it while you press the shutter release. Some professionals like to do the reverse: exhale all the air from their lungs, and then shoot the picture.
Your photo's are sure to look sharper and draw more interest and positive comments from your family and friends when you shoot with a steadier digital camera.