In Photography

John Sisley

The importance of a steady hand when photographing cannot be stressed enough. Camera shake, or motion blur, can often take away from what would otherwise be a great photograph. You might see this in your “Live” photos taken on your smartphone. Sometimes you might not even notice the movement in your view screen until after you look at the photograph larger.

 There are a few simple things you can do in order to prevent motion blur, from unintended movement of the camera:

Use A Tripod

Use a tripod or steady object like a table to rest your camera. This is the best way to help prevent camera movement. 


Use A Self Timer

Set your camera to a timed release (self-timer) or use an external camera shutter release, which will reduce the possibility that your finger pressing the shutter will shake the camera.


Use Both Hands

Many photographs you take will be handheld, without the aid of a tripod, so it is important to remember to hold your camera steady with both hands. Make sure your body stance is steady and try to breathe in and hold your breath while you press the shutter gently. Steady your body against a wall to create even more balance.


Use the Right Shutter Speed

Set your camera to Shutter Speed Priority and try to aim for a speed that is as east 1 over the length of your lens. For example a 50 mm lens — you would want a shutter speed of at least 1/50th of a second.


Any movement of the camera– even subtle can cause motion blur in an image especially if you are hand holding your camera and using a zoom lens or if your shutter speed is not very fast. Implementing any of these strategies should greatly improve your images.

John Sisley
John Sisley is an Instructor of Photography at UCLA.
To learn more please visit his site at
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