A couple of weeks ago I went on a night photography tour around London with a few friends. I knew most if not all photos I will be taking would be long exposure shots. I faced a real challenge as I wasn’t armed with a tripod. I thought I would use ledges or park benches or something like that to rest my camera on for these shots. This only worked in cases where the position was right for the framing of the shot, but there was still some vibrations from the shutter clicks.
When holding the camera, I knew some basic techniques like holding my breath for a few seconds to get my body stable. This wasn’t enough even for exposure of 2 seconds. So I started researching about how to stabilise the body (mine and camera’s) for these shots.
I came across a great article written by an officer in the US Army. He details the shooting (firing) technique used for rifle shooting and how this can be applied to photography. His explanations are clear and are illustrated. There are “four fundamentals of marksmanship”: Body posture, Breathing control, Aiming and Sight, and Trigger (shutter) squeeze.
This is worth a read (link below) if you want some great long exposure shots without a tripod. Although I wouldn’t recommend a 30s exposure with this technique!