May 15, 2012

Tips for Sharper Photography Images

Most photographers quest for pin sharp and high quality images. In this latest photography blog post I compiled 15 photo tips on how to achieve sharper photos with our photography gear. This blog post links to other related topics that deepen the understanding of correct exposure, depth of field or how to use your tripod correctly ... hope you explore and enjoy! 

Photo Tip #1: Find your lens sweet spot where it produces sharpest and best quality photographs per manufacturer design. Check reviewers and sites like Digital Photography Review to find out anything and everything about your photography gear. 

Photo Tip #2: Know your Camera Noise level limit where it become unacceptable so you can adjust your ISO setting for faster shutter speeds accordingly. High noise levels produce poorer image quality. In example, ISO 800 might be unacceptable but since you know ISO 400 is all right you may choose ISO 400 and adjust to a larger aperture to achieve a desired faster shutter speed and compensate for the lower ISO setting. 

Photo Tip #3: Utilize lowest possible ISO settings like ISO 100 and below for higher quality pictures. Do not use your camera Auto ISO setting since at low light it will adjust to high ISO settings that produce more noise. Instead get in the habit of using your tripod even when sufficient light is available … on a different note this will benefit in composing an image as well.

Photo Tip #4: Pay attention to the surrounding environment. Any ground vibration like passing cars, trains or even people walking by may not be compensated by the tripod and may lead to blurry pics. 

Photo Tip #5: Use a Sturdy Tripod and head to minimize camera shake during photo exposure. Turn off your lens image stabilization when using your tripod.


Photo Tip #6: Watch your shutter speed to ensure you can still hand hold your camera and lens while taking the picture. If there is no tripod available, turn on the lens stabilization feature and use other supporting aids like a tree trunk, a wall or your camera bag to stabilize your set up … whatever works to keep your camera and lens stable at slower shutter speeds. 

Photo Tip #7: Ensure your focus point is spot on. Depth of Field (DOF) falls approximately 1/3 in front and 2/3 past the focus point. Aperture provides you the control to maximize or minimize DOF thereby impacting your image sharpness. 

Photo Tip #8: Set the correct aperture to achieve sufficient DOF for your artistic needs. A large aperture (small f-stop Number like 5.6 and less) provides shallow depth of field with faster shutter speeds while small apertures (large f-stop Number like f/8 and up) will provide you with sharpness from foreground and longer exposure times. Longer exposure times require a tripod or other stabilization to avoid blurry pictures. 

Photo Tip #9: Understand Exposure and how aperture, shutter speed, lens magnification, and ISO come together and how these photographic camera and lens controls may interfere or enhance taking razor sharp photos.

Photo Tip #10: Use manual focus and the magnifying camera feature to precisely pin your focus point and apply the correct exposure settings to achieve your artistic photographic goals. 

Photo Tip #11: Use your Camera Self Timer in combination with Live View or mirror lock up to minimize camera shake when releasing the shutter.

Photo Tip #12: Review your photos on the camera screen using the magnifying feature. If sharpness and image quality is unsatisfying, keep shooting to ensure you get the sharp, high quality image you desire. 

Photo Tip #13: Sharpen your image during post processing to achieve appropriate sharpness in your pictures. 

Photo Tip #14: Save on the camera body and instead invest the savings in a higher quality lens or tripod. 

Photo Tip #15: Forget almost all of the above and try Intentional Camera Movement. ICM can be lots of fun and very rewarding