Shutter Release

Prefocusing

If your camera is set to focus in the middle (Focus Area Selection), press the shutter release part way down to focus.

If you hold the shutter release partially down, you can move your camera around with the focus locked.

This is useful if your subject is not in the center of the scene.

Also, if you're using a point-and-shoot camera with shutter lag, prefocusing will reduce the lag.

Shutter lag is the pauses before shutter is released.

Don't Use Your Finger

If you're using a slow shutter speed (say below 1/30th of second), pressing the shutter release with your finger can disturb the camera even if it's on a tripod.

The resulting camera shake produces a photograph that looks poorly focused, and often has a slight double image.

Use the camera's self-timer to trip the shutter.

If the timing of the shutter tripping is important, use a remote shutter release.

Don't Hold Your Breath

If you're taking handheld photographs at slow shutter speeds, brace the camera and yourself, if possible.

For example, press the camera against a lamp post. Or, place your arms on a table top.

If you're standing, your elbows should be close to your body, and feet spread.

Don't hold your breath!

We're most stable at the "bottom" of an exhale, not when we're holding our breaths.

Wide-angle focal lengths, such as 28mm, can be handheld at slower shutter speeds than more telephoto foal lengths, such as 200mm.