10 Top Tips For Sharper Photos
Apart from some abstracts and arty soft focus shots, generally we like our photos to be pin sharp. However, if you’re anything like me, sometimes the image which looked ok on the rear screen of the camera turns out to be disappointing when viewed on a large monitor. I guess we all make mistakes, rush things or forget to check a setting or piece of equipment, and then realise when it is too late. So here are a few reminders for the experienced among you and a few new pointers for the people still learning.
- Clean and tidy: blow off any dust and grit, clean your lenses, the viewfinder, the rear screen and any filters.
- Posture and grip: stand with your feet apart, lean against a solid object, hold the camera near you, hold the camera and lens with both hands.
- Shutter speed: set the shutter speed to be faster than the length of the lens, so at least 1/200 for a 200 mm lens, and faster if possible.
- Aperture: try using a slightly smaller aperture (big number) to give a bigger depth of field.
- Stabilisation: if you are NOT using a tripod, try turning on the image stabilisation function.
- Focus: use auto focus where possible, but try manual if the lens is hunting or if using a macro lens. Use one focus point. When shooting people or wildlife, focus on the eyes.
- Tripod: ensure it is firm and level. Only extend the thin legs if required. Use a cable release or self timer function. Weigh it down if is windy.
- Moving subjects: use a fast shutter speed. Use burst/high speed mode. Try panning the camera. Use servo/continuous focus.
- Composition: be careful when taking shots where there are two people or objects, as you may focus on the background between them.
- Post processing: check the image at 100% on your monitor. Use the sharpen function, especially on raw files, but don’t over do it.