Hands-Free Photography: 4 Ways to Take Pictures Without Touching Your Camera

Whether you want to banish camera shake in low light or avoid scaring wildlife, here are four simple ways to fire the shutter without touching your camera.

Even pressing the shutter button can cause camera shake, so there are several things you can do to avoid touching your camera and ensure getting sharp images.

If you just want to fire the camera without touching it to prevent camera shake, you can simply use the self-timer. Many cameras allow you to choose different delay times, from two seconds upwards.

This option is perfect for shooting static subjects, but it’s not ideal if you are photographing a moving subject, when split-second timing is essential.

A simple cable release is a much more accurate and useful option for shake-free shots. Some independent models, such as those in the Hähnel range, come supplied with an extension cord that enables you to fire the cam from just over two metres away.

If you want to fire your camera from further away than this, the best option is to use a wireless remote trigger.

The final, much more technical, solution is to control and fire your cam from your smartphone, tablet or computer. Read on for some concrete examples and options…

01 Self-timer

The simplest and cheapest option for firing your camera without introducing shake is to use the cam’s built-in self-timer. It’s main drawback is that it can be impossible to shoot moving subjects, because it’s difficult to predict exactly when you’ll need the shutter to fire.

02 Remote cord

A simple remote cord enables you to fire the shutter from a short distance using a button at the end of a cord that’s attached to your camera. These are available either from the camera manufacturer or third parties. Get the right model for your model of camera, obviously.

03 Avoid Camera Shake – Wireless remote

If you’d rather fire the shutter from a distance, try an infrared remote control. However, they will only work from a few metres away from the camera and need a direct line of sight. A more versatile option is a radio trigger, which will work from up to 100 metres away.

04 Tethered shooting

Apps now enable you to shoot tethered and control your cam from a tablet or smartphone, or from your PC. Canon users get a handy free program called EOS Utility, but for other makes you’ll need extra software such as Nikon Capture NX 2 or Adobe Lightroom 4.

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