6 Ways to Get Sharp Hand-Held Photos at Slow Shutter Speeds

The best way to get really sharp photos at slow shutter speeds it to use a tripod. Your second-best bet is to use a monopod. But what if you simply cannot use any such tool? Are you walking away without getting any shot? You shouldn’t, because there are techniques for stabilizing your camera even if you have to hand-hold it.

We all know this situation: You’re in this beautiful place, and you think you’re just about to snap the best images ever. But while you’re setting up your tripod a guy walk up to you explaining (more or less politely) that tripods are not allowed. Luckily, you also have your monopod with you. But you’re told that that’s not an option either. That’s a major bummer.

But instead of just walking away in frustration, how about developing your skills to hand-hold your camera even with slow shutter speeds? This time is well-invested as it will let you walk away with usable images even in situations like the one described above.

The video

In this featured video, Pye Jirsa from slrlounge.com shows you 6 ways to hand-hold your camera and get sharp images anyway.

How to hold your camera correctly

Need more tips on hand-holding your camera from top pros? Here's another article about this topic.

Summary: In this article, I will share how some professionals go about holding their camera when they are shooting hand-held. [Read more...]

Overview of the techniques

Tip 1: Use your off-hand to stabilize


Tip 2: Find an object to brace against


Tip 3: The elbow shelf


Tip 4: The Super squat


Tip 5: Sit down


Tip 6: Regulate your breathing



There is a variate of techniques out there for stabilizing your camera when you have to shoot hand-held. But bear in mind that you have to practice those techniques before you actually use them in a real shoot. So go out there and practice; find out which technique suits you best and try it out to get accustomed to it.

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5 replies
    • farbspiel
      farbspiel says:

      If that works for all your hand-held shots, good for you. But my experience is that image stabilization has it’s limits. What’s the lowest shutter speed you can hand-hold and get sharp images with this camera?

  1. Les
    Les says:

    Try to lean the camera body up against something stable, or at least more stable than you freeholding it.. eg a doorframe, the side of a building, a fencepole, a lightpole, and take LOTS of shots if possible.., because they may look good on your camera screen, but when you get back to your computer, you see a slight blur.


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