Proper Camera Handling Techniques

One of the most important aspects of using ANY camera is holding it the right way. This is true for all cameras, but is especially true when you are using a digital SLR (DSLR) like those that we use in class. Before going out on your first assignment, please review the proper handling techniques below. These are intended to help you hold your camera as steady as possible, in order to get the sharpest picture possible .

The Strap:  The purpose of the strap is very simple: it is meant to keep you from dropping the camera!  The best use of the strap is to put it around your neck, as seen in photo 1.  If that is not possible for some reason, you should wrap the strap around your arm several times, as shown in photo 2.

Photo 1
Photo 1

 

Photo 2
Photo 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo 3
Photo 3

Holding the Camera: It is very important that you hold the camera with both hands. You hold the grip of the camera with your right hand, and you place your left hand UNDER the lens (see photo 3). You should also keep your arms close to your body in order to hold the camera as steady as possible.

 

 

 

 

 

Photo 4
Photo 4

Supporting Yourself: Whenever possible, it’s important to give yourself as much support as possible.  In photo 4 the photographer is leaning against the wall with both of his legs firmly in front of him.  This creates a “human tripod” and gives the support needed to hold the camera as steady as possible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo 5
Photo 5

Additional Support:  If you are shooting in an area where there is nothing to lean against, you can always improvise.  In photo 5 the photographer is resting his elbow on his leg to provide support.  In photo 6 the photographer is leaning both elbows on the table, again creating a natural tripod for support.

Photo 6
Photo 6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo 7
Photo 7

Shooting Vertical: When you are shooting vertical photos, you should position your  camera with your right hand above your head and your left hand holding the camera lens underneath, as seen in photo 7.

One Final Note: When taking the picture, first compose the picture (see lesson one!) and when you’re ready to take the picture, SLOWLY press down the shutter release.  DO not “mash” it down, as that will cause unnecessary camera movement, and that will mean fuzzy pictures.