By Peeter Poldre, Photographer – Always learning and striving to CAPTURE the next great photo!

BE READY. BE STEADY.

Smartphone/Point and Shoot/Digital SLR. No matter what device you use to take photos, what looks fine on the device may leave you disappointed when you want to make that special image into an enlargement, a poster or a screen-saver.

IF YOU HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO PREPARE, BE READY TO THINK ABOUT:

• Should the camera be held horizontally (landscape) or vertically (portrait)?
• Will there be enough lighting, or will flash be needed?
• Where can I safely stand to get the best picture?

OUT-OF-FOCUS PHOTOS ARE OFTEN AVOIDABLE WITH BE STEADY TECHNIQUES:

• Hold the camera with both hands.
• Hold the camera as close to your body as possible, typically with your elbows against your chest.
• Press down smoothly and do not jab at the shutter release button.
• Consider using a tree, a pole or a wall to further steady yourself and the camera.
• Action photos will often be out-of-focus unless you adjust your camera for a faster shutter speed. Your camera may have a “sports” setting that can be used to greatly increase your chance of capturing sharp action photos. If the camera allows for this adjustment, a speed of 1/500 second should be used as a minimum.
• Action adjustments aren’t just for professional athletes. Even children playing, running or dancing will likely be in better focus.
• A faster shutter speed will also help those with shaky hands.