Photography short tips: Reduce shake blur

I often find myself in the situation of making a picture with a low shutter speed while the camera is attached to a tripod. Pressing the shutter-release button shakes the camera (at least this is true for my smaller, lightweight tripod). That way, motion blur can be introduced in the image. That is specifically a problem in macro work, where not only the rotational shake blurs the image but the translational shake too.

There are multiple ways how you can reduce or completely avoid that shake:

  • Use a remote trigger: Connect the trigger to the camera and press it. This is super easy, but has some downsides: You have to spend money to get a remote release and have to make sure that you have it with you on your trips.
  • Use the shutter delay/self timer function of your camera: After you press the shutter button, the camera will wait for a few seconds (e.g. 2 sec) and then take the picture. During the wait time, the shake will get damped and you will hopefully get a sharp picture. This is a completely free solution, but the delay is a problem by itself: If you are photographing a (slowly) moving subject or are waiting for a less windy moment, the delay is unhandy.
  • Use live view and tip screen: At least Canon cameras have the option to trigger the release by touching the rear screen during live view mode. As there is much less force required to touch a touche screen compared to pressing a mechanical button, less shake is introduced. I use this option quite often as it is simple and effective enough for most cases.
  • Use your mobile phone: Install your camera’s control app (e.g. Camera Connect for Canon), start the remote live view and trigger the shutter on your phone. This is a handy solution that has nearly no delay and no extra space in the photo bag is occupied. The disadvantage is that the setup process can take a while.