eHow: Stop taking blurry pictures

Thanks to Richard Burke

When shooting with a hand-held camera, try leaning against a rail, building or tree to steady your body during exposure. It is actually more difficult to steady the camera when holding it at arms length and using the screen of a digital camera. It is easier to steady yourself while looking through the viewfinder during exposure. The exposure of an image is caused by light, shutter speed and aperture. Aperture is controlled through the iris, the smaller the iris, the less light strikes the sensor. However, smaller apertures improve depth of field. Make your decision about aperture first. Shutter speed controls the amount of time the shutter is open and letting light strike the sensor. The faster the shutter speeds, the faster the action you can freeze. When photographing sports you should have a shutter speed of 1/500th of a second minimum. Faster is better for freezing action. Adjust the ISO sensitivity so that you can achieve faster shutter speeds.

Use a tripod whenever you can. Get to know your tripod; have a relationship with it. I believe a serious photographer needs two tripods: a large sturdy tripod used for scenic views and portraits at the best ISO sensitivity to capture the detail. This may require slow shutter speeds and small apertures and even the use of a cable release to make sure you have no camera movement. The second should be a mini tripod that you can pack up in your camera bag. Sometimes I just can’t carry a big tripod with me.

I should have read this before taking this photo of Downtown Cape May.


I took the shot without a tripod, using an ISO of about 400, which didn’t compensate for the low light (or for the fact that I was running across the street, trying to cross before the oncoming car arrived). Sometimes you just have to play it as it lays..

[More How to Stop Taking Blurry Pictures]


About marypmadigan

Writer/photographer (profession), foreign policy wonk (hobby).
This entry was posted in Travel. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to eHow: Stop taking blurry pictures

  1. Richard Burke says:

    Thanks for blogging this, I am glad you found it helpful.

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