Shooting handheld photography has many benefits. You can get more angles quickly, it’s lighter and more compact, and you can experiment more with various creative angles. The downside is you can’t shoot HDR photography, long exposures, or night photography.
When I first started out I insisted on always staying handheld as I thought all those other forms of photography were just gimmicks. I wanted to be more of a walk-around photographer, with exceptions of course. Like night photography. There is really no way around this one unless you have super fast lenses and an amazing sensor.
For the several years of shooting all handheld, I got some amazing photos. A lot of my best images were even done this way and I learned a lot of great techniques for photography because of the freedom you have shooting handheld.
I always thought tripods were more for people who were just lazy or couldn’t hold their cameras still since a lot of people have very shaky hands.
Here are some samples of my handheld photography
You can get great results shooting all handheld. It allows you to get in and close and quickly capture very unique angles.
I wanted to learn better and more advanced techniques for photography. I wanted my photos to be more like the fine art landscape prints I’ve seen in galleries, and a lot of times I just couldn’t get their handheld.
Although handheld had been great I noticed a lot of my landscape photographs were always a bit soft and didn’t have that clarity seen in really high-end fine art prints. I always followed the cardinal rule of shooting a minimum of 1/60sec shutter speed for handheld to avoid motion blur. But I noticed, on my big ol Canon EF 24-70mm f2.8 that the front piece of glass was heavy and caused more movement. So when scaled into a 100% crop, my photos were often softer than they should have been. So then I began trying to shoot at a 1/100sec shutter minimum. And tried to close down my aperture when shallow depth was not needed. This helped.
5 Photography Tips for Shooting Handheld
Shoot a minimum shutter speed of 1/60sec. I usually shoot 1/200sec to play it safe.
Use faster lenses to keep your ISO low, while still keeping a minimum shutter of 1/60sec.
Experiment with angles. Get in close, shoot from below, or from above. Try to take advantage of shots you could never get with a tripod.
Stabilize your body. Keep your elbows tucked in and braced against your torso to help minimize camera shake. Or stabilize your body against a tree building, stable object.
Ditch your lens cap. Use a UV filter for protection instead. You don’t want to miss the perfect shot because you left your cap on. But keep it in your bag of course. You’ll want it for storage and travel.
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