Quick Photography Tip
Remember, flash is not just for indoor shots
The tripod is one cumbersome accessory, and in many cases, it's just one of those items you don't want to lug along with you each and every time you're planning on taking pictures. However, even without the tripod, there are several ways to improve your photographing results, if you pay attention to your surroundings.
The Lazy Photographers Tripod
Let's say you're heading out for nice stroll, digital camera in your pocket, and you really don't want to carry that bulky heavy tripod. The first consideration is of course how to properly steady your hands while taking pictures. Most people use their hands when taking pictures, so it's not the end of the world if you have to. However, there is a right way and a wrong way to do it.
Even if you have steady hands like that of a surgeon, you'll need a little assistance when it comes to holding that camera perfectly still. For your best results, always hold the camera with both hands. Your left hand should not be grasping the camera, rather it should be supporting it, while your right hand has a solid grip on it. Use your chest to brace your arms and steady your hands.
When you're ready to snap the picture, don't press the shutter button quickly as this will actually cause the camera to shake slightly as you click it. Try squeezing the button slowly. As you squeeze you are entering a two-stage process. The first stage will lock in your focus and exposure and as you continue to squeeze down on the shutter button, the picture will be taken.
The Spur of the Moment Tripod
Depending on the environment you are in, you can use your surroundings to help steady the camera. If there's a nearby railing, use it as your steadying device. If the surface is smooth enough, you can place the camera directly on the railing, gently but firmly gripping the camera as you squeeze off your next shot.
Even using a nearby wall or fence to lean against can help create a more secure way of steadying your camera while manually pressing the shutter button. Of course you'll want to make sure you're the only one using the prop to steady yourself. If someone were to come along just at the right moment and bump the railing or perhaps simply backup against it, you might get a sudden jarring motion just as you take your picture, which will produce an unwanted result.
The Less Cumbersome Tripod Alternative
Sometimes the surface of your possible props may not be as steady or smooth as preferred. In these cases, you can use a beanbag. Some beanbags are actually specifically threaded just for this purpose, allowing you to securely attach your camera to it. The nice thing about the beanbag is it's flexibility, which allows you to adapt it to almost any surface providing you with a more stable setting for your camera.
The most important thing to remember is to take along that camera everywhere you go. Tripod or not, the world is full of wonderful and exciting things that you can capture on film or memory disc, if you take it with you always.