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Avoiding Motion Blur with Your Digital Camera

by Paul Sanders

Boy taking a photo with a small digital camera

Motion blur is one of those annoying visual effects that can creep into your digital photos when your camera moves or when you shoot moving subjects. In digital cameras, blur is caused because the camera sensor isn't picking up light fast enough to compensate for the movement. To keep motion blur out of your own photos, try a few of these tips with your digital camera.

Digital Photography Tips:

  1. Take well-illuminated photos. Digital cameras will usually automatically correct the shutter speed for low-light conditions, which will cause the sensor to be exposed for a longer period. The slower the shutter speed your digital camera uses, the more susceptible it will be to motion blur. Make sure to use your digital camera in well-lit areas.

  2. Adjust the ISO setting on your camera. You can compensate for low light or fast-moving subjects by increasing the ISO setting -- your cameras light-sensitivity setting. DSLR cameras allow you to adjust this setting easily. If the sensor on your digital camera is more sensitive, the shutter won't need to be open as long to capture a photo. As your digital camera reaches higher ISO settings, however, image quality can start to suffer.

  3. Take several photos. Sometimes, you just take a bad photo. Doubling up on the same shots can ensure that you get at least one great picture. Since your digital camera has room for hundreds of photos, you can afford to duplicate important shots.

  4. Shoot with a tripod. Most motion blur occurs when your digital camera moves during a shot. The easiest way to solve that problem is to use a tripod to steady your shot. Tripods are also nice because they allow you to use the timer on your digital camera and put yourself into a few photos.

  5. Hold your breath. One way to steady your digital camera without a tripod is to hold your arms against your ribcage while you take a photograph. Holding your breath as you take the photo will eliminate even more movement. This method isn't as steady for your digital camera as a tripod, but it still helps against motion blur.

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