Keeping it steady

When you forgo the flash for a natural light portrait, the camera's shutter has to stay open for a relatively long interval to admit enough light for a good picture. As a result, you need to keep the camera very steady, which is much easier with a tripod. Pocket tripods (Section 3.7.1.1) are great for this type of shooting. They weigh only a few ounces and steady the camera on all kinds of surfaces like tables, countertops, and so on.

Once the tripod is steady, you face another challenge: taking the picture without jiggling the camera when you press the shutter button. Even a little camera shake can blur your entire image, creating an out-of-focus appearance. So, just avoid pressing the button: Make the camera do it instead. Employ your camera's remote control or self-timer to put some distance between your body movements and the camera.

Tip: If your camera has burst mode (Section 1.12), here's a golden opportunity to use it. The jar of your shutter press may ruin the first shot, but by the second or third shot of the burst, things are much steadier.

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