Steady that shot for perfect Wedding Photography
We all know that being a photographer is a skill, more and more people are entering this profession, technology is racing ahead, my son just recently bought the latest I-Phone that has a massif 24meg pixel camera, the latest PANASONIC Lumix DMC-GH4 Compact System Camera films in 4K and apparently the footage is so good that you have the option of choosing a frame and printing a 10x8 image that is as good as a stills photo, yes the size is quite small however we all know this is just the beginning!
Yes, a lot has changed over the years, but as a professional wedding photographer I know that more is required than just getting hold of the latest kit and heading off to your first photoshoot.
What about choosing the correct aperture, shutter speed and ISO to provide your clients with the perfect photo?
There is so much to think about to capture that perfect image, as soon as the pioneers of photography liberated their cameras from studio stands and tripods and started shooting handheld, "camera shake' became a very real problem. We have previously spoken about focus however just setting your camera to Auto won't provide you with perfection, shooting handheld undoubtedly now provides the photographer with gives greater freedom and allows us to shoot more spontaneously however it's also the cause of countless blurred photos and none of us want this especially with our wedding photography.
The obvious solution in order to reduce blur would be is to lock the camera back down on a tripod, so it's sitting solid. You still need to take a little bit of care when you shoot especially if your shutter speed is low (using a remote release or the camera's self-timer so you don't knock the camera when you trigger the shutter) but for 99% of your photos, camera shake will no longer be the cause of soft shots.
However, tripods are slow and can be a pain if your running around a wedding, its great when you're shooting in a studio, or want to wait for the "perfect" light for your landscape, but for reportage shots, action shots, or any other shot that might benefit from a more "freehand" approach, a tripod will only hold you back.
So, first off, if you want to handhold your camera you need to do it right. Shooting one handed with your camera at arm's length might make you look like a cool and casual snapper when you're using Auto, but it's also going to increase your chances of a blurred results, and sorry but blurred photos aren't artistic! Instead, you need to take your camera in both hands. While the exact grip will depend on your camera, for most DSLRs it's the same advice that was given over years ago, when shooting with film (remember that)?
Your right hand curls around the side of the camera, with your index finger hovering by the shutter release and your thumb ready to move across the buttons and dials on the back. Meanwhile, your left hand supports the camera underneath, with your thumb and index finger at the ready on the lens' zoom ring (or focus ring). Then it's a case of elbows tucked in to your sides feet shoulder-width apart (if standing); camera to your eye and then trigger the shutter on an out breath.
Straight away, that will give you a solid and stable "shooting platform," but it will also help if you set your shutter speed so that the big number on the fraction is equal to or higher than the focal length of your lens. That means setting 1/100 second or faster with a 100mm focal length, no slower than 1/200 second with a 200mm lens, and so on.
If you combine the perfect stance with the ideal shutter speed, you will maximise your chances of a sharp result, but you still have something else on your side 21St century technology.
Today, when you handhold your camera, anti-shake is your greatest ally however ensure you check because not all cameras have this especially if you have purchased a fully manual lens like the Samyang line of lenses.
I personally don't think any of these fabulous technical advances improves or takes away from, taking your time, holding the camera steady and really learning the ART of photography, wedding photography is an art, It doesn't matter how good technology becomes understanding what it is your trying to achieve, understanding the basics, leaning your ART is what makes a great wedding photographer.
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