How to Avoid Camera Shake

How to Avoid Camera Shake

Camera shake is the worst enemy of the photographer when comes time to do a long exposure.  Even when using a normal shutter speed, landscape photography could suffer from camera shake.  Why in landscape more than in other type of photography? Because landscape record with precision very small details.  When looking at these details camera shake, that otherwise would be invisible, is bothering.

This picture of a waterfall is a good example of camera shake.  A tripod was not enough…

How to avoid Camera Shake?

  • Use a sturdy tripod, built for twice the weight of your gear;
  • Put your tripod leg on firm and solid ground;
  • Hook your heavy camera bag to the end of the center column of the tripod;
  • Use the option mirror lock-up on a DSLR equipped with a moving mirror;
  • Use the delayed shutter;
  • Use an Arca-Swiss mounting bracket and secure your camera to the tripod;
  • On lens equipped with a tripod collar, use it instead of the camera tripod socket;
  • Avoid wind.  A camera strap can ruin your shot;
  • Pay attention to the ground under your tripod legs. Unstable grounds mean trouble.

Even if you do it all right, camera shake could sometime be seen. After taking your picture, use your LCD on the back of your camera and magnify the picture to the greatest setting.  Look for blur sign in contrasted areas.  Find some small details to ensure there was no camera shake.  Only then you can rest assure that everything is alright.

It is worth your time to make these verification should you fly back home after taking your picture.  It is so easy to take another picture when on site.

This picture was taken 5 time zones away from home.  It is too late to take this picture again. This could have been a good picture.  All other aspects including composition are spot on.

Now, I do not leave a scene without looking at the LCD panel trying to find camera shake.  Whenever possible, I use my Hoodloupe to make sure I bring back a keeper and not a downer.

Is camera shake one of your challenges?  If it is, read along these additional great post on the topic.  You might find what you are looking for.

Article TitleAuthor
How to shoot long exposuresLisa Bettany
Vibration and Camera ShakeDaniela Bowker
Taking tack sharp photosPete at Photography Mad
Sharper photos by preventing camera shakeShane Brown-Daniels
Avoid Camera ShakeArun Bhat
10 tips to avoid blurred photosPhotoxels
Some additional information on getting rid of Camera Shake

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