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Thread: Shooting like a sniper

  1. #1

    Default Shooting like a sniper

    If'n you don't have access to a tripod, like many of us, and you either can't use or don't want to use your cameras timer setting to take photos, it's a good idea to apply marksmanship fundamentals with rifles to your camera fundamentals. These fundamentals are taught to US Army soldiers during Basic Rifle Marksmanship Training, and highlighted again at the US Army Sniper School.

    Breath Control Take a deep breath. Just before you shoot your photo, hold your breath. Your natural breathing will cause the camera to shake. If you are taking multiple shots, as you should, hold your breath at natural times for the second or two required to take the photo. Hold your breath at the end of an exhale for best results.

    Trigger Squeeze When you snap your photo, press down on the button, but do not release until well after the photo has been taken. If you don't wait for this, then the act of releasing the button will shake the camera. This is true even on touch screens. Hold it down for an exaggerated second or two after the photo.

    Steady Position Finding a position that is both comfortable for you and secure is perhaps the most important measure you can take for a good picture. Balance your elbows on your knees. Place the heels of your hands together and cradle the camera. Find what works best for you. Rest the camera on an object of appropriate height for your picture, but apply a slight downward pressure on the camera so it does not slip as you shoot.

    Obviously, a tripod or timer is preferred. But in a pinch, one can use the field expedient methods I have described for you above. Now lock and load soldier!!

  2. #2

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    Great tips! Will definitely try it this weekend... ready, aim, shoot!

  3. #3

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    Great tips. This is my camera, there are many like it, but this one is mine...
    "Remember, you can't spell paint without a little pain."

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  4. #4

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    Ha! Perfect emoticons!

    Yeah I felt compelled to out this little tip out there when my wife kept wondering why we would take pictures of the same exact thing, but mine would come out so much more clear. Then I thought about it and realized that I subconsciously practice rifle marksmanship when taking pics of minis, and this has transferred to all pics.

  5. #5

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    Thank you for the tips. They are very helpful. I will also find a better back round piece.

  6. #6

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    If you want to know whether you're doing it right, balance a nickel on the end of your lens while you shoot your picture. If it falls off, you're moving the camera.


    Just kidding! I was taught to balance a nickel on the end of an M-16's barrel, and practice my trigger squeeze. If the nickel fell off, I was jerking the trigger.

  7. #7

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    Good advice but not a workaround for not having enough light - or a tripod! If your shutter speed is too slow it won't make much difference.

    Bang the ISO up and try to use a shutter speed that is twice your focal length - so if you're using a (non-stabilised) 50mm lens, try to use a SS of at least 1/100s.

  8. #8

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    Try burst mode, snapping several images with only one trigger squeeze. I used it with some success at Euromilitaire for example. The shake from pressing the trigger is noticeable but it's gone in the following shots. The shots are in ISO 6400.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by whiteraven2008 View Post
    If you want to know whether you're doing it right, balance a nickel on the end of your lens while you shoot your picture. If it falls off, you're moving the camera.


    Just kidding! I was taught to balance a nickel on the end of an M-16's barrel, and practice my trigger squeeze. If the nickel fell off, I was jerking the trigger.
    Yep, the old dime washer drill. A key part of preliminary marksmanship instruction.
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Avelorn View Post
    Try burst mode, snapping several images with only one trigger squeeze. I used it with some success at Euromilitaire for example. The shake from pressing the trigger is noticeable but it's gone in the following shots. The shots are in ISO 6400.
    Very wise good sir. When I'm doubt, employ a weapon that can shoot at a cyclic rate of Fire I've used this method when taking family photos myself, that way nobody can complain about having their eyes closed or failing to smile for a half second.
    ​You are ranked 1 out of 9149 artists.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Avelorn View Post
    Try burst mode, snapping several images with only one trigger squeeze. I used it with some success at Euromilitaire for example. The shake from pressing the trigger is noticeable but it's gone in the following shots. The shots are in ISO 6400.
    Quote Originally Posted by BloodFather of Kharnath View Post
    Very wise good sir. When I'm doubt, employ a weapon that can shoot at a cyclic rate of Fire I've used this method when taking family photos myself, that way nobody can complain about having their eyes closed or failing to smile for a half second.
    The benefits of digital cameras.
    Old timers like me who processed their own FILM prefer a single accurate shot.
    ( Which is also how I was taught with the Martini-Henry and the Lee Enfield.)
    I believe in Karma, what you give, is what you get returned. Affirmation; Savage Garden
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    , and proud of it.

  12. #12

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    Indeed. It seems that cameras and rifles have similarities even in a chronological sense. I am with you, DR, take your time for precision and accurate photography. Conversely, my favorite weapon in the US Army inventory is the M240L. A belt fed, gas operated machine gun that fires from the open bolt position. Consequently it is also the most casualty producing small arms weapon for the U.S. infantryman. The best medium machine gun in the world. Far exceeds any small arms weapon system I have ever encountered.
    ​You are ranked 1 out of 9149 artists.
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  13. #13

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