New Workshop! Lighting 3 | Advanced Off Camera Flash

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You are watching a free tutorial from Photography 101.
To view the entire course, upgrade to Premium or purchase it in the SLR Lounge Store.

Sometimes we find ourselves in situations where we need to slow down our shutter speed for a proper exposure. In the video and article below, I’m going to show you six ways to hold your camera so you can get sharp images even with slow shutter speeds. I’m also going to demonstrate how to get excellent handheld panning shots using the six tips we discussed!

6 Ways to Hold a Camera for Slow Shutter Speeds | Photography 101

Tip 1: Use your left hand to stabilize underneath the lens


Most cameras are built with the grip and shutter button on the right side, so your left hand should be used to stabilize the camera underneath the lens. This is a good habit that you want to build because it’s the easiest way to get sharp images and also the most comfortable way to hold a camera.

Tip 2: Find an object to brace against


This can be a wall or a tree, basically anything that’s not moving. When we stand on our two legs, our body is constantly moving slightly to keep balance. When we brace ourselves against an immobile object, we give ourselves an anchor point that’s more stable.

Tip 3: The Elbow Shelf


If you’re in a location where you have nothing to lean against, the elbow shelf is an excellent alternative. To create the elbow shelf, take your left hand and grab your right shoulder, and then place the camera on your left elbow and now you have an all natural man-made shelf for your camera to rest on. This is also useful on long shooting days when your arms are fatigued.

Tip 4: The Super Squat


The super squat is when we get into a squat position and rest our elbows on our knees. This gives us more points of contacts and allows us to hold our camera more stable than if we were just standing.

Tip 5: Sit down


Remember in tip 2 how we talked about an immobile object to brace against? Well, the ground is also an immobile object you can brace against, but instead of your shoulder, this time we’re going to use our butt. Sitting down is a great way to stabilize your camera, get a new angle, and rest without looking lazy.

Tip 6: Regulate your breathing

The main tip here is to not hold your breath. If you hold your breath, you’re depriving your muscles of oxygen and causing your muscles to tremble. The trick here is to breath slowly and shoot between breaths.


By using these 6 holding tips, we’re able to get impressive and sharp panning images at slow shutter speeds handheld!




Q&A Discussions

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  1. Klaas Norg

    Turning the IS on is not the smartest idea during a panning shot! You are panning and the lens is trying to stop the motion. Unless you have an IS panning mode on Your lens. Usually mode 2 on the lenses.

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  2. Vanessa Guevara

    pygatory :D haha

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Photography 101