A crisp sharp image

We,ve all had them; those images that looked fine on your cameras small LCD screen but after you loaded them on to your photo editer they look blurry or out of focus (or both). Yes, we could sharpen the images in Photoshop elements and try and mask the mistake and that’s ok if they’re only slightly out, but if they’re too blurry and out of focus then it may be impossible to redeem them. So, it’s better that we try and get a crisp, clear picture in camera; and there’s a few ways we can do that.

© Anthony Webber

Trusty tripod

The first way is by using a tripod, particularly when the light is poor or when you need to use a slow shutter speed, yes, I’m always going on about using a tripod but it’s true; by using a tripod you reduce the risk of camera shake and therefore, giving you sharper images.

But of course, a tripod is not always practical for some types of photography and also, it depends on the type of subjects you like to photograph, but, if you have a choice then you should always use one to get a sharper image. If you’re looking for a good tripod but can’t afford a ‘Manfrotto’, there’s plenty to choose from at more affordable prices.

Raise the ISO level

If a tripod can’t be used for whatever reason, then you’ll have to hand hold your camera, if you’re shooting in low light that could mean that the shutter speed may go below what might be acceptable to hand hold (below 1/60th sec). If that’s the case then try raising your ISO level; this is simply a measurement of how sensitive a cameras sensor is to light, so by raising the ISO level, less time is needed to expose a picture, which means you can use a faster shutter speed.

The downside is your picture may start showing some noise (it gets grainy) the higher the ISO setting the more noise. With some digital cameras you could raise the ISO level up to 1600 ( they can go as high as 6400) and the noise on your photograph will still look acceptable, but for a sharp, bright picture then keep the ISO level as low as possible.

© Anthony Webber

Focusing

Another way to get sharper pictures is to make sure you’re focusing properly on your subject. When a digtal camera focuses it uses focus points in the shape of a diamond and the active point shows in red; auto-focus will work well a lot of the time but sometimes, such as low light situations, shooting through glass, certain patterns and lines can confuse the lens on what to focus on.

If you encounter this sort of problem then try using manual mode, this will help you isolate your subject to get the shot you want. If you’re hand holding your camera, and your lens (or camera) has image stabilization, then make sure you switch it on, but if you’re using a tripod then you’ll need to switch it off otherwise the IS will still be searching for movement (when there isn’t any) and this, albeit tiny amount of searching can cause minute movement.

© Anthony Webber

Sweet spot

Most digital camera lenses have a ‘sweet spot’; an aperture where the lens operates at its best; for most lenses this would be about 1 to 2/stops from the maximum aperture on your lens,( the lowest number eg f/1.8 f/2.4 etc) this can vary from lens to lens so you may want to take a few test shots to find the sweet spot with your lens.

© A Webber

So if you want to get the sharpest blur free images from your digital camera and lens then try these few tips; they will make a difference to getting sharper images.

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Dolica AX730P105 73-Inch Proline Tripod and Pan Head

Dolica AX730P105 73-Inch Proline Tripod and Pan Head

Canon PowerShot SX60 HS 16.1 MP Digital Camera with 65x Wide-Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom Super Bundle W/ 32GB Professional 633x SDHC Class 10 UHS-I/U3 Memory Card Up to 95 Mb/s, Dig Pro Case SD USB 2.0 Card Reader, BP 1150

Canon PowerShot SX60 HS 16.1 MP Digital Camera with 65x Wide-Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom Super Bundle W/ 32GB Professional 633x SDHC Class 10 UHS-I/U3 Memory Card Up to 95 Mb/s, Dig Pro Case SD USB 2.0 Card Reader, BP 1150

Fujifilm S4500 Compact Digital Camera

Fujifilm S4500 Compact Digital Camera

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