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This WWII Rifle Training Video Can Teach You How to Hold a Camera Steady

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We’ve written before on how photographers can use marksmanship techniques to stabilize a camera for sharper handheld photos. If you’d like to learn how to hold your camera better, check out this vintage US military video that teaches the basics of rifle marksmanship.

Found and shared on Reddit by photographer Chandler Collins, the training video clip covers three main positions: sitting, kneeling, and standing. The main gist and many of the specific tips are applicable for photographers as well.

Sitting

sitting

  • Spread your feet apart — farther apart than your knees
  • Brace your heels firmly against the ground
  • Get your toes down against the ground if you can
  • Brace your left elbow with your left shin
  • Hold your right elbow against your right shin
  • Don’t rest your elbows on your knees — they’ll wobble
  • Keeping your back straight, lean forward
  • You can also sit with legs crossed if the planted position doesn’t work for you.

sitcross1

sitcross2

Kneeling

kneeling

  • Get down on a knee and sit on the opposite heel
  • The top of your foot should be pressed against the ground
  • Keep your left elbow rested against your shin

kneeling2

Standing

standing

  • Stand at a right angle to your line of aim
  • Place your feet a foot and a half apart
  • Press your face firmly against your camera

The original training video also has a section on the “trigger squeeze,” with tips that could help you eliminate some camera shake that happens when you squeeze your shutter.

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