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  1. #1
    Strokebloke's Avatar
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    An Obscure Question

    For those who haven't read the Introduction thread, I have had a number of strokes & getting into photography is part of the rehab process/programme.
    Being new to photography I have a lot to learn [& have already learned a lot, with much more yet to come], but one issue is causing practical problems at the moment & I have little or no idea how to overcome it. So some practical advice would be very welcome.
    One of the consequences of the strokes is a lack of balance & an inability to 'fine-control' the dead weight of my left arm. The result of the dead weight is that it is very difficult to hold my arm & the left side of mmy body perfectly still whilst composing a shot & releasing the shutter. The muscular motor control is no longer there. On my digital camera I have an anti-shake button (IS) but on my film cameras I have no such facility. Therefore whether a shot comes out blurred or not is very much a matter of pot luck.
    I have a very good tripod. I similarly have an equally good monopod. I have a beanbag for resting the lens or camera body on. But when I can use none of those things & need to shoot 'freehand', I get into a conflict between trying to support the weight of the camera+lens+maybe also a flash, & control the dead-weight of my arm, and trying to relax sufficiently to enable my arm to stop shaking. The more I concentrate on relaxing, the more my arm shakes.
    It might a be a mind-over-matter issue. It might be a physiotherapy issue. But if anyone has any experience of this sort of thing - or any ideas, I would be very appreciative.

    Regards,
    Jack

  2. #2

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    Geez that's rough. I can't give you any medical advice. I'm not a doctor, and I don't know a whole lot about these things. I can tell you that I have seen people who have made incredible recoveries from brain injuries. A friend had a brain tumor, along with a substantial amount of brain tissue, removed a couple of years ago, . Six months later, half her face was paralyzed and her eyeballs wouldn't move together in concert. She had balance problems and motor control problems on the left side. Today you wouldn't know that she'd ever been through that ordeal. The only obvious lasting effect is the loss of hearing in one ear. She credits her recovery to a lot of hard work at therapy.
    Frank Schifano

  3. #3

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    Are you able to use a lightweight monopod? That would help to keep the Camera steady.

  4. #4
    Cheryl Jacobs's Avatar
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    Jack, have you tried focusing (no pun intended) on your breathing techniques? Frequently when people try to stay still, they hold their breath, which makes the shaking almost instantly worse. If you concentrate on controlling your breathing with slow, controlled breaths, releasing the shutter as you exhale, you may find you have less trouble with camera shake.

    Just an idea to consider if you haven't already.

    - CJ

  5. #5

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    I would go for the monopod aswell.

    In order to relax your left arm: have you tried a sling ? I am thinking about a way to naturaly relax your arm without asking your brain to do so.
    If you give it a try: keep the part of the sling that is in contact with your neck well padded, so it gives you the best comfort possible.

    Hope everything will work-out for you with best wishes,
    Peter

  6. #6
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Jack:

    Can you adapt a bracket so as to permit operation of your cameras with just your right hand?

    I have very limited dexterity and strength in my right hand, so I tend to favour cameras that can easily be used (often with a grip) with my left hand. All I tend to do with my right hand is focus, wind and steady the camera. If I had trouble keeping the right hand from shaking, in most cases I could probably limit it's involvement to focusing and winding.

    Matt

  7. #7
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    The less expensive solutions: a monopod and higher speed films with faster shutter speeds.
    The more expensive would be lenses offered for Nikon and Cannon SLRs with image stablization.

    Steve
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

  8. #8

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    If the anti-shake button(IS) on the digi works for you, then isn't the analogue equivalent on a Nikon a VR(vibration reduction) lens. They aren't cheap of course and I am making a big fat assumption that a VR lens will work on your Nikon but it might be worth looking into this.

    Again this might be "hot-air" on my part but a cheaper( as in free) alternative may be leaning firmly against a wall, rock tree, lampost etc and wedging the dead side to prevent any movement. Except in very open spaces( becoming rarer in the U.K.) there is often an object to get wedged against even if it means that the camera to object distance isn't then what you'd want it to be for the picture you want. Zooms will usually overcome this.

    Finally membership of a camera club can give you what membership of an internet club cannot. Namely the chance to try other members' lens. With a bit of luck there might be someone with a VR lens who is willing to lend it to you on club night or organised shoot to take a shot(s) which can then be checked for success when developed and printed.

    Best of luck

    pentaxuser

  9. #9
    johnnywalker's Avatar
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    How about a cable shutter release? With a tripod, no shaking would get transferred to the camera, and without the tripod it should at least help with the shaking. Might be worthwhile trying to integrate one into what you're trying now.
    If I had been present at the creation, I would have given some useful hints for the better arrangement of the Universe.
    Alfonso the Wise, 1221-1284

  10. #10
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    Last edited by Andy K; 02-15-2009 at 03:07 PM. Click to view previous post history.


    -----------My Flickr-----------
    Anáil nathrach, ortha bháis is beatha, do chéal déanaimh.

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