How to Take Sharper Photos

Camera shake, windy conditions, and simple camera settings can all make an impact on the sharpness of your images. In order to get a crisp focus in your photographs, there are a few techniques to keep in mind.

  1. Use a tripod to steady the camera – this can reduce camera shake. If you don’t have one, consider the investment. It’s well worth it, especially in low light situations. When using a tripod, determine whether image stabilization or vibration reduction is needed. Also, make sure to block the wind as it can wobble your tripod ever so slightly, which may seem like violent movement in an image.
  2. If using a tripod isn’t possible, try to stabilize yourself as much as possible during your shoot. This can be done either by finding a clean, sturdy surface to set your camera on or adjusting your posture. Position your left hand under the lens and body so that it is almost resting in your hand for support, while you keep your elbows tucked in close to your body.
  3. Consider how you are pressing the shutter release button. If a remote trigger or release is available to you, this is an excellent option if you’re using a tripod. Otherwise, slowly roll your finger back over the button.
  4. Avoid zooming in or out to the extreme lengths. For instance, if you’re using a 70-200mm lens, try zooming to between 135-150mm. This will likely produce sharper images than going all the way to 200mm.
  5. Don’t increase your ISO too high. If this is necessary, first try using a flash or relocating to an area with better lighting.
  6. Apertures between f/5 and f/10 normally produce the sharpest photos, regardless of the lens you’re using. Try shooting somewhere in the middle of this range and test the results.
  7. Determine your minimum shutter speed according to the length of lens you’re using. Some speeds will produce very blurry images if they are too slow. This is especially true for longer lenses, as slight movements will create more of an impact.
  8. Always ensure your lens is clean. Having a spotless lens will reduce any blur or softness created by smudges, dust, or drops of water. You may also lengthen the life of your equipment by keeping it pristine.
  9. Make sure you are focusing properly to get the best results. More tips on achieving the perfect focus can be found in our Finding Focus article.

Share your own tips with us below! We’d love to hear your thoughts.

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