How do you position legs and feet in handheld photography?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by narke, Jan 12, 2005.

  1. narke

    narke Guest

    A big problem for me is that my body tends to incline back and forth in
    a small range when I ready to trigger the shutter. Of course I put my
    feet apart in the width of my shoulder as anyone suggested, but what's
    the better for you, put legs one left one right or put them one front
    and one back?

    If I keep the whole upper arm and elbow stick my body, I always find
    it's a little lower than my eyes for most subjects ... Should I lower
    my head ? bend my back? or keeep my back straight and bend the legs?
    Any suggestion and ideals is welcome.
    narke, Jan 12, 2005
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  2. narke

    casioculture Guest

    Someone here needs to read about the Alexander Technique.

    Do that. It's good for your health, not just your photography. You
    won't be asking this question.
    casioculture, Jan 12, 2005
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  3. narke

    narke Guest

    Someone here needs to read about the Alexander Technique.
    Oh .. What's that?
    narke, Jan 12, 2005
  4. narke

    casioculture Guest


    "The Alexander Technique is a method that works to change (movement)
    habits in our everyday activities. It is a simple and practical method
    for improving ease and freedom of movement, balance, support and
    coordination. The technique teaches the use of the appropriate amount
    of effort for a particular activity, giving you more energy for all
    your activities. It is not a series of treatments or exercises, but
    rather a reeducation of the mind and body. The Alexander Technique is a
    method which helps a person discover a new balance in the body by
    releasing unnecessary tension. It can be applied to sitting, lying
    down, standing, walking, lifting, and other daily activities..."
    casioculture, Jan 12, 2005
  5. narke

    Owamanga Guest

    Then you can apply to join the Ministry of Silly Walks.
    Owamanga, Jan 12, 2005
  6. narke

    Owamanga Guest

    I see. When you press the button, the camera sucks in the light
    through the lens which causes you to rock forwards slightly. If you
    blow out gently to compensate this may help.

    Okay, I'll stop being stupid.

    Bending anything would mean you introduce muscle shake. Whatever
    stance you end up in, it needs to be fairly relaxed and comfortable. I
    have had some success standing up with a 2 legs of a mini-tropod
    jammed into my gut (which has been carefully developed over the years
    to stick out a little). Technically hand-held.

    Better still is to get down on the ground, jam your face into the
    viewfinder, use your elbows as tripod feet, wait for the gap between
    heartbeats and gently squeeze the trigger. Too many photos are taken
    from 5.5ft off the ground these days, time to get a different

    PS. Don't use this trick when photographing railway lines, major
    roads, ant nests or herds of wild animals.

    The older you get, the more you shake. Here is a the table of
    recommended minimum film speeds based on age:

    0-10 Makes no difference, pictures will be boring.
    10-25 ISO 50
    25-35 ISO 100
    36-45 ISO 200
    46-55 ISO 400
    56-75 ISO 800
    75+ ISO 1600 or use IS lenses.

    *This chart was completely fabricated by me just now, and as such has
    as much technical accuracy merit as a CBS news report.
    Owamanga, Jan 12, 2005
  7. I tend to keep my feet on the diagonal. However I try to find something
    to brace against, like a tree or wall.
    Do what is comfortable for you. There is no one right way.

    For both of these I suggest taping a laser pointer to your camera so you
    can practice holding the camera in different positions and watch the point
    of light move to get a good idea of what is working for you.
    Joseph Meehan, Jan 12, 2005
  8. narke

    me Guest

    Use you body as a support. If standing place your feet slightly apart, one
    foot slight forward, pull your elbows into your body and press your arms
    against your ribs.

    Rest the camera on a bag (camera bag or beanbag) and lay in a prone

    Lean against a wall or tree or rest camera on table, car roof or hood use a
    jacket as a cushion and press down.

    Or kneel down, place the camera holding arm elbow on your knee. Also try
    sitting down and place both elbows on your folded legs.
    Good luck.
    Film best,
    me, Jan 12, 2005
  9. narke

    Owamanga Guest

    Good idea, I saw a similar test suggested by a Nikon engineer
    regarding the effects of mirror slap. He wanted the distance between
    camera and wall to be 2 blocks, and suggested that even with a sturdy
    tripod, the pointer will be bucking about all over the place due to
    ground vibration).
    Owamanga, Jan 12, 2005
  10. narke

    PGG Guest

    I tend to open the legs of my tripod all the way and to put the feet on
    firm ground.
    PGG, Jan 12, 2005
  11. narke

    Alan Browne- Guest

    Alan Browne-, Jan 12, 2005
  12. narke

    Bandicoot Guest

    Or Cheerleaders - could get you in a lot of trouble...
    Hmmm, I used ISO 25 between the ages of about 12 and 25, then ISO 50 till I
    was about 37 - does that make me a slow developer?...
    Surely you mean FOX....

    Bandicoot, Jan 13, 2005
  13. narke

    Bandicoot Guest

    Just be careful doing this when taking pictures of politicians...

    Bandicoot, Jan 13, 2005
  14. narke

    narke Guest

    Bending anything would mean you introduce muscle shake. Whatever
    stance you end up in, it needs to be fairly relaxed and comfortable.

    I beleive you're right, bending always hurts. But it seemed not
    answered my question: how to lower or raise, 5 inchs for example,
    without bending anything?
    I don't well understand the chart, that's only film speed, not the
    shutter speed.
    narke, Jan 13, 2005
  15. narke

    narke Guest

    For both of these I suggest taping a laser pointer to your camera so
    Thanks, I'm interesting that. Could you tell more about how to set up
    that laser pointer? I get no ideal of how to do it.
    narke, Jan 13, 2005
  16. Duct tape it to the bottom of the camera.
    Joseph Meehan, Jan 13, 2005
  17. narke

    Bob Hickey Guest

    Might be a little off topic, but today's plastic cameras are always harder
    to hold steady. Years ago, even with the alu/brass cameras, many attached a
    motor w/ dead batteries to add weight. I always use a monopod, even if I
    just leave it folded and hanging down. Bob Hickey
    Bob Hickey, Jan 13, 2005
  18. narke

    Owamanga Guest

    Well, I'm not one for actually jamming my elbow into my torso. I can't
    do this without bending (and I'll get a lot of photos titled "My Feet"
    that way). Every human is shaped differently, but I'll try and
    describe my standing hand-held position:

    My arm is tucked into my body as far as left-to-right is concerned
    (imagine, I flap my folded arms like I'm doing a chicken dance. Now
    take the inner-most position and fix it at that) After a slight
    farting noise, my armpit is tightly closed.

    Looking at me from the front, or from the side, my forearm is *almost*
    vertical, and there is a 4" gap between my elbow and belly (it used to
    be bigger when I was younger).

    The other arm is doing much the same thing, but in my case, primary
    support of the camera is from the left arm which holds the lens from
    underneath and does focus/zoom, shutter release and camera body
    support is being handled by the right arm. I also use my left eye
    (just a preference), which means my left arm is a lot more vertical
    than my right.

    But the most important thing is to be relaxed, and *slowly* squeeze
    the button.
    First, it was a joke.

    Secondly, the faster the film speed, the faster your shutter speed can
    be at the same aperture to still get a correct exposure for a given
    scene. In other words, camera shake becomes less and less of a problem
    as you go to faster and faster film. The other major contributor here
    is the focal length of the lens being used. Wide angle lenses are not
    going to show minor camera shake, but with telephotos it can be a real

    You are probably aware of the 1 over focal length rule:

    Most people can handhold as slow as 1/30sec on a 30mm lens.
    or a 1/50sec on a 50mm lens.
    or a 1/200sec on a 200mm lens.
    or a 1/300sec on a 300mm lens.

    This guideline is based on a printed photo at 4x6, if you want
    critical sharpness or enlargements, you'll want to at least double the
    shutter speed or more (and preferably, always use a tripod or other
    fixed support).

    Camera shake effectively lowers the resolution of the picture being
    taken and less obviously, de-saturates the colors.
    Owamanga, Jan 13, 2005
  19. narke

    Owamanga Guest

    ...and duct tape round the pointer's trigger button so it stays on.

    Cheap 2" jobs can be purchased at Target for under $10 (if you live in
    the US). DIY stores have more expensive ones.
    Owamanga, Jan 13, 2005
  20. narke

    narke Guest

    thanks a lot!
    narke, Jan 14, 2005
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