How to hold a Camera Steady without a Tripod
by Eguaogie Eghosa Jun 06, 2021 Views (332)
Cameras come in various shapes and sizes, as well as for different purposes, and handling them can be tasking when shooting. Even when they are small and manageable, the outcome from shooting with them handheld may be less than perfect. This is why tripods can, in some cases, be essential equipment to have.

But let’s face it too; tripods can be equally awkward to both carry about as well as use. Even when folded up and stowed away, tripods can still constitute a source of nuisance. Still, some situations require you to shoot with a tripod to ensure that your camera is steady and guaranteeing consistency in all your photographs.

Unless you are an inexperienced beginner, you should already know that your camera needs to be steadied at certain shutter speeds. You may know already that if you're going to shoot at those slow shutter speeds, you either need to have a tripod and some form of remote release, or you need to find another way. But only if you know where to draw the line between exposures that can be made normally using hand-held techniques and an exposure that requires a steady camera.

But unfortunately, some events and locations do not allow you to bring a tripod along. So, here are some ways to steady your camera if you do not have a tripod available.

1. Lean Against Something Solid and Steady
It sometimes helps to lean against something solid and steady to give you the steadiness you need to capture a great image. Leaning against a steady solid object can provide you with the extra advantage that is required to allow you to drop your shutter speed a little without creating a visible camera shake. You can use anything that won't shift or move when you lean into it, a wall, for example, a post, a boulder, or whatever. All you have to do is be creative and opportunistic.

2. Lie or Crouch
To shoot handheld, it sometimes helps to lie flat on your stomach with your elbows planted firmly into the ground to help you steady your hands. But if you feel a little bit squeamish about getting your Sunday bests dirty; then you may wish to take a crouching position with your elbows on your knees, or you can have your elbows tucked into your body to give your arms the relative steadiness it needs to take fairly steady and consistent shots.

3. Shoot in Burst Mode
One other way to achieve steady shots is to shoot in high-speed mode otherwise known as burst mode. All you have to do is set your camera to high-speed drive mode and hold down the shutter button. If your camera possesses this capability, you will hear the rapid sound of the camera as it takes shots of the images that you are shooting.

Shooting in burst mode helps to eliminate the vibration or shakes that occur when the shutter button is pressed for a shot when taking more than one shot. In this mode, you only have to press the shutter button once and hold it down ensuring that the ensuing photographs have consistent outcomes.

In addition, using the burst mode also removes the extra vibrations that occur in DSLR cameras that have mirrors in front of their sensor.

4. Shoot with Shorter Lenses
This method requires you to set your camera lens at a shutter speed that is reciprocal of the focal length. While this may sound technically complicated to the less experienced photographer; it just requires you to find an acceptably faster shutter speed by making the focal length a fraction of the lens capacity. For example, if the lens focal length is 200mm; you can handhold at a shutter speed of 1/200th of a second or faster or if it is 25mm, then the handheld focal length of the camera can be set to 1/25th of a second.

5. Use Your Camera In-built Timer for Delay Shots
Use your camera’s built-in self-timer feature to delay the shutter anywhere from 2 to 10 seconds. This allows you to set up your shot, press the shutter trigger, and then keep your hands off the camera during the exposure. The self-timer allows you to press the shutter button, and then it waits a specified number of seconds before the image is taken.

Many photographers think that tripods are a necessity, but this isn’t necessarily the case. There are methods that you can use to shoot without a tripod while still capturing spectacular images. Tripods can be wonderful tools to have, and in an ideal situation, you'll probably always want to have one on hand whenever you know you're going to be shooting in a low-light situation or at such events and occasions that may require you to use one. But let's face it, they're not always practical, and they're not always allowed. You have to have alternatives, and now, hopefully, you do.

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