No Tripod? Learn Breath Control to Help Get the Shot

Alright, I’m gonna just come right out and say it. I hate tripods. I don’t like carrying them, using them and having anything to do with them, really.

I know most photographers disagree and that’s totally fine. But I just can’t bring myself to use or like them. They’re heavy, bulky, time consuming and get in my way.

If you feel the same way, this means you have to utilize other techniques to shoot certain subjects (like some still life) or at certain times of the day (night) and still get a sharp image.

Union Square, New York City, shot at night without a tripod. (Photo: Kim Olson)

Union Square, New York City, shot at night without a tripod.

This image was taken sans tripod. Since it’s at night, I didn’t have the benefit of bright sunlight flowing into my lens so I had to find ways to make the shot work. There are a few different methods you can use to mitigate low-light situations, but one of my key strategies is this:

Breath Control.

When you don’t have a tripod you need to find other ways to stabilize your camera. Breath control is one way to do this.

As you’re holding your camera, breath steadily and evenly. As you exhale, press the shutter with a controlled movement, trying to keep the camera as still as possible. Pressing the shutter on exhale tends to be the most stable time you can take the photo.

Hope that helps and I’ll have more tips next week!

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2 Responses to No Tripod? Learn Breath Control to Help Get the Shot

  1. Mike May 8, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

    A helpful tip as always. I also find leaning against something also helps ( a building, tree, wall, etc.), or sitting down with the camera balanced on my knee. I happen to have a Nikon D7000 with ‘Night time landscape’ mode. It works well, but as always with practice.

    Mike

    • Kim May 8, 2013 at 2:25 pm #

      Ah, you beat me to it, Mike! :) Your tip is absolutely sound and I do plan to talk a bit more about other ways to help stabilize – like making a tripod with your body. Thanks for sharing!