I hate it when I have to take landscape/cityscape photos handheld. Rather I really like to take my time, setup the camera, do manual focusing and take the exact photo I want. I especially noticed when I stated using a tripod first time, that the composition of my photos got better. Just the forced slowdown made me think more of what I’m doing. I also ended up less photos in the end.
So how would you get a better handheld photo? Here are few tips, for that.
- Hold your camera close. The closer you hold the camera to your body, the less change you will move your hands while taking the photo.
- If you can, place the camera on something. Having a support of any kind will help you keep the camera steady.
- Higher ISO instead of bigger aperture. Think of it this way, you can de-noise a photo, you can’t sharpen a out of focus one. Just don’t overdo it.
- Under expose your photo. With the current cameras, you can easily overexpose a photo by 1 to 2 stops, sometimes even more. So underexposing a shot by having a shorter exposure, and then overexposing it after in post-processing, can really help you.
- Repeat the shot multiple times. The more photos you take, the bigger chance one of them will be good.
- Use a timer. I noticed when I take handheld photos, that when I press the shutter I push on the camera and so move it down a bit. This can be a problem. So instead, I turn on the 2s timer, and I just hold the camera, so it does not move when it’s recording the photo.
- Forget about bracketing. Rather just do multiples of the same photo. You can get most from one RAW anyway in most situations and I jet to see anyone with such steady hands that can hold the camera for so long (but maybe you are an exception? :)).
Still if you doing a landscape or a cityscape shot, I would go with a tripod every-time, even in the middle of a sunny day :)
Sunny day panorama from Paris
And while on the topic on handheld photos, here is one. When you go to Paris, to the top of the Arc de Triomphe, you will notice that the use of any tripods of any kind is not allowed up there. So the only thing you can really do, is to shoot handheld.
So I was there during a quite sunny day, and this is one of the photos I got. For this sunny day panorama, I did two shots, combined in Lightroom, finished in Photoshop.
If you need tips on where to take photos in Paris, check out this Top Photography spots list.
And here are few details: