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Eliminating camera shake #photography

We have all had pictures where a slight blur totally spoils the image. Camera shake is always a problem and can be caused by the slightest vibration. I advised someone this week who was using a 300mm lens full frame lens on a crop sensor camera. It wouldn’t auto-focus and so she had to focus manually. I thought the problem was not just focusing but camera shake. It would have an equivalent focal length of 450 mm on a crop sensor camera, so camera shake would be amplified when she zoomed in. Generally speaking, a shutter speed of the inverse of the focal length is the minimum for eliminating camera shake. Vibration from a nearby heavy vehicle can cause a lot of camera shake and cause blur at 300mm.

eliminating camera shake

Eliminating camera shake

I took the above shot at 300mm with a fast shutter speed but I still needed to sharpen the image in editing. If you’re going to shoot at 1/300 of a second or faster you then need to consider your aperture. I would normally shoot wide but if you want a deep depth of field then to get the exposure right you would need to raise the ISO. Once you have decided to shoot really fast the balance is between aperture and ISO. I shot this image wide open but if your lens has a sweet spot a little narrower then you might raise the ISO accordingly. Eliminating camera shake and getting the exposure just right is a matter of balance.

White balance

Getting white balance right in winter can be difficult. I’ve set white balance for a cloudy sky then the sun breaks through. Fine tuning the white balance is difficult and not always possible using an entry level camera. The grey dreariness of winter has to be accepted and made good use of. The sun tends to be harsh when it does break through but it can give us some interesting effects. It’s useful to have a few filters that you can use to stop the sky being over-exposed in some winter shots.


I seem to have fewer potential subjects to photograph in winter but the spring flowers will soon be with us. There are fewer events in winter too and we have to shoot more indoors. That means problems with light and problems using a flash. I have started shooting more on manual which allows me to set faster shutter speeds especially when I use a flash. My camera limits the shutter speed to 1/60 of a second when I use a flash on aperture priority. I can shoot faster on manual and just have to try to bounce the flash off walls and ceilings to get enough light.

That’s all for this week. If you would like to follow my blog just enter your email address in one of the spaces provided. You can also follow me on Twitter for links to the latest posts. Those links are also on my Facebook page.

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