Monday, February 24, 2014

Worth Repeating

Sometimes photographing multiple subjects can be more interesting than just one. This trio of orchids was nicely grouped together and stands out against the dark background. These are cultivated orchids photographed in a botanical gardens.

While tripods may be allowed in some places, many public gardens do not allow them, or restrict the times or the areas where they can be used. Also, many times it is not possible to get the tripod positioned where you want in order to get the shot.

For all those reasons and more, it is important to become comfortable hand-holding your camera. There are some simple tricks to hand-holding that will increase your chances of getting sharp shots almost every time.

1.  Use a fast shutter speed, at least 1/125 sec. Depending on the lens you are using, the basic rule of thumb is to use a shutter speed of approximately the same number as the focal length of your lens.  If you are using a 100mm lens, a shutter speed of about 1/125 sec. or faster will minimize the chances of camera shake during the exposure. With a 300mm lens, use a shutter speed of about 1/320 sec. of faster, and so on. If you cannot get a fast enough shutter speed, increase the ISO as needed.

2.  Hold your camera with your left hand supporting the camera and lens. Avoid the temptation to place your left hand on top of the lens since this does not provide support.

3.  Turn your body into a tripod of sorts. Stand comfortably with your feet about shoulder width apart. Once you have focused and framed the shot, make sure the camera remains pressed lightly against your head, tuck in your elbows so that they are against your sides, take a breath and either hold it or slowly exhale, and press the shutter.

These simple steps will help you get sharp shots almost every time. The added benefit to not using a tripod is an amazing sense of freedom. You will be traveling light, and easily get into positions that you would be unable to with a tripod.

1/640 sec.  Aperture f/5.  ISO 400.  Lens: Canon 100mm macro f/2.8L IS.  Camera: Canon 5D Mark III.  Handheld

TODAY’S QUOTE: “Freedom is the oxygen of the soul.”  --Moshe Dayan

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