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How to reduce camera shake with a tripod

You go out, find a great location, scout out a great scene, pull out the camera and start taking photos. The scene looks awesome, your composition options are great, things are prefect. 

You get home, upload your photos and then the shock hits. Blurry photos from excessive camera shake. This article will discuss how to avoid this situation and help you reduce camera shake with a tripod!

How to reduce camera shake with a tripod

You can reduce camera shake with a tripod

Having a tripod can provide you with lots of benefits, as far as taking pictures is concerned. It is one of the things that you need to invest in, in order to have sharp high-quality photos. Aside from that, it would also help you in taking amazing photos of sunset or sunrise or maybe even the milky way.

Blurring moving water and low-light scenarios can require lengthy exposures. A tripod can allow you to use slower shutter speeds and still get excellent results. The very best way to reduce camera shake, especially during a longer exposure is by mounting it on a tripod. You will get the best results in these types of scenarios.

You can create a large depth of field by using a larger aperture value, which equals a smaller amount of light during the exposure. More depth of field in order to maximize sharp detail in a scene, means you probably need to use a slower exposure. Because less light is coming in, the exposure time increases, and that makes you need a tripod.

Reduce camera shake by not hand holding it

Depending on the weight and length of your lens, your ability to capture sharp images while hand holding the camera will vary. This is especially true if you have just hiked up a steep trail and your heart is beating a little harder than normal. This has happened to me.

When shooting handheld, you’re breathing and/or shaky nerves can cause the camera to move after you’ve locked your focus point causing your point of focus to change right before you snap the shot. A tripod provides you with a way to reduce camera shake.

If you have a tripod, but you do not use a remote shutter release, you still may get blurred shots even with the use of a tripod. This can be due to the way you press the shutter button, in taking the pictures. To get around that, all you actually need to have is a remote. Aside from that, you can also make use of your camera’s delay timer.

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A tripod can be unstable by:

  • Having cheap leg fasteners / too heavy a load for the legs
  • Poor Quality Feet (or poor foot placement)
  • A high Height to Base ratio

You’ll notice that you have a lot of stability when the distance between the legs is greater than the height of the tripod. As you increase the height in comparison to the distance between the legs, you lose stability.

Your expensive camera gear is mounted on top of the tripod. Its protection depends on a stable base. In public places, someone could knock into your tripod. Whether or not you have to dive for it is dependent on this stability. Make a good investment in this important piece of gear!

Vibrations equal camera shake

The world has wind. It has people moving about. You may not notice that something like a very light gust could shake your shot during a normal exposure – but the problems will exacerbate as your exposure lengthens. To solve this, reduce camera shake with a tripod and use a remote shutter release.

The sturdiest tripods will withstand a heavy load, wind, and vibration. Finding the right one for you means weighing your use case against price, carry-ability, pack-ability, load bearing, stability in wind, and stability with vibrations.

A good tripod usually has a weight hook on the bottom of the main shaft to hang something heavy, like a camera bag. This will lower the center of gravity and make it more stable.

In most any setting I personally find that using a tripod to reduce camera shake is the best way to capture a photo. You don’t have to worry about how much you shake or when you breathe will it mess the photo up.

When you have a good quality tripod, it will put you at ease when you go to take that one in a million shot.

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Jason Baxter

Jason is a professional photographer based in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Loyd has been doing photography for over 14 years and specializes in fine art landscape photography. Loyd's work has appeared on book covers, CD covers, television, internet galleries, and on the walls of private residences.