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How to Get Sharp Photos in Camera!

How to Get Sharp Photos in Camera!

There are three potential reasons why your photos are not sharp.

  1. Blur due to motion.
  2. Miss focus because you're not using the most optimal focus point.
  3. Your ISO is too damn high.

Now each of these different causes requires different solutions to fix so it is important to be able to identify why your Photo is not sharp because it'll be the fastest way that we can start correcting it on the spot.

4 Easy Steps to Get Sharp Photos in Camera: Portraits, Pets, Landscapes & More

1. Shutter Speed: How to avoid blurry photos?

Now to avoid taking blurry photos we will need to understand how to use shutter speed and that will require us to be in manual mode on our camera. Don't worry don't freak out. I'm gonna make this super easy to understand. Shutter speed is just how fast a camera takes the shot. Depending on the circumstances using a slower than necessary shutter speed will be the cause of blurry photos.

But what does that even mean? Slower shutter speed?

Well, the best way to understand it is through visuals. So Let's go ahead and be in the camera watch is I'm Dowling the shutter speed to the left. There's a lot more blur that happens as we go down in number to the point.

  • Keep in mind the shot is also getting brighter as we move to the left. Vice versa as we do to the right there's less and less blur to the point where he can pause the frame now and see that frozen in action.
  • Keep in mind as we move the shutter speed to the right the shot is also getting darker. The point I'm trying try to illustrate here is as we're moving to the right that we're able to freeze the action of our shot. That's the thing that you need to keep in mind when you want to avoid blur in your Photo there's actually a Golden rule to shutter speed otherwise known as the handheld rule.

Because you're shooting handheld your shutter speed must match the focal length you're shooting with. If you're shooting with a full-frame sensor camera for you APS-C crop sensor users double your shutter speed. For example, if you're shooting with a 50-millimeter lens your minimum recommended shutter speed should be one over 50. If you're shooting with a crop sensor camera with a millimeter lens your minimum recommended shutter speed should be one over 100.

Now that's just the baseline to keep in mind. So Let's go ahead and build on top of this rule if you're moving around a lot or your subject is moving around a lot then you should use a faster shutter speed. 

For example, if you're photographing kids or pets that are just moving around a lot then you might want to shoot at one over 125 or one over 250 of a shutter speed. My suggestion is to take a couple of shots first and check your focus. If the shots are still looking blurry then raise the shutter speed. Now the question that you might be asking is what if you're using a Zoom lens? Do you need to constantly keep changing your shutter speed every time you Zoom in and out? And the answer is no?

For example, Let's just say you have a 24 to 70-millimeter lens right? You'll want to choose the shutter speed best for the longest end of your lens. So for 70 millimeters, you would probably use one over 180, one over 100. Or if you found 125 works for you then just keep it there. So even when you're retracting down to 50 millimeters or all the way down to 35 millimeters you stick with that one over 125.

It's just gonna make everyone's life so much easier moving on to understanding aperture. And don't worry I'm not going to tell you to stop down at F 5.6. just so you can nail focus on your shot. Okay?

2. Aperture: How to avoid miss focus?

You could keep shooting at f 1.8 to maximize your background blur. However, have you ever wondered why your camera seemingly misfocused despite you shooting at the proper shutter speed and your camera telling you that you've nail focus on the shot?

How aperture and shutter speed can affect the focus of your image? When we're taking photos we're only seeing what's in front of us through the lens. And depending on the aperture that we're shooting in it can affect our depth of field. Going back into the camera lowering the stop to the widest possible on your lens will yield a shallow depth of field. So you'll get that blur that bokeh.

And when we widen up the aperture of our lens we're allowing in more light into the sensor thus making our shot brighter. On the other hand, when we're increasing our F stop it produces a greater depth of feud so more things will be in focus. On top of that when we are increasing our F stop we're actually closing down on the aperture. Thus less light is getting into the sensor producing a darker shot.

But when we hear that phrase shallow depth of field like what does that even mean? What does that even look like?

You see it's hard to conceptualize depth. We're only really seeing what's in front of us through the lens. And it took me years to understand this. Back when I first started learning how to use a camera what I said made sense but it never really click with me until I started looking at things from a 2D bird side view top-down perspective. That's when the depth of field really click with me. 

For example, F 1.8 versus F8. This thin line right here represents F which is quite fitting because you get a thin depth of field. So even the slightest movement if you're accidentally rocking back and forth with your camera could cause miss focus in your Photo even when your camera tells you you locked on.

How to Get Sharp Photos in Camera!

In focus vs this thick line right here that represents F 8, you have a greater depth of field. Even if you move back and forth a little bit there's a hard chance for you to miss focus because that depth of field is so great. So in this F 1.8 situation, my advice to you is to be autofocus continuously raise the shutter speed and be in burst mode. That way you can be Bam and land a Photo with the focus tax sharp on your subject.

3. Focus Point: How to focus on the right spot?

Choosing the right focus Point this is going to be the biggest reason why that one part of the image that you need in focus is not in focus. Using the wrong focus area or using two general of focus area would be the culprit of this issue. Now by default, most cameras out of the box will be shooting with the widest focus area and when you're shooting with a wide focus area all your focus points are activated.

The camera would not be sure where or what exactly to focus on and it will grab focus on whatever stands out the most at that second. This is where you will need to take that extra few seconds to choose a smaller focus point and get it to where you need it to be for the camera to focus on and depending on your subject and how far away it is. Narrowing it down to the smallest focus point will ensure that you get the best pinpoint focus results.

For example, if your camera does not have continuous eye autofocus and your shooting portraits use the smallest focus point possible and put it right on your subject's eye. This will avoid the issue where the camera would accidentally focus on their nose or that strand of hair by accident.

4. ISO: How to avoid grainy photos?

The last thing that we need to talk about on this list is to watch your ISO. High ISO can be the cause of the grain and that mush that you see in your photos which can be the reason why your images are not sharp. But in case you need a refresher raising the ISO digitally brings up the image you're about to take. But pushing this to heart in a dimly lift situation could yield mushy results.

Unlike shutter speed and F stop. When we're moving the ISO to the left it's actually darkening our image whereas when we're moving it to the right it's gonna brighten up our image. You would be using ISO to compensate for the lack of light to achieve proper exposure in your shot.

So I see this issue a lot on Facebook. So and so got the most expensive camera with state-of-the-art plans. And they pick a test Photo in their dark living room wondering why the image looks so terrible. And they post on these groups. Right?

And typically I see that they're shooting in some type of auto mode so their shutter speeds are jacked up one over And that in turn causes their auto ISO to shoot up 256000 to compensate for that lack of light. Now there's no shame in asking for help. I just want to be clear on that right? That's how we spread good information to newbies out there.

However, this also goes to show that doesn't matter if you own the most expensive equipment out there the camera is not gonna be smart enough to take the photos that you want to take. So the Golden rules for ISO to maintain a clean sharp image is if you're shooting with a full-frame sensor camera try to keep it under 6400 ISO.

If you're shooting with an APS-c crop sensor camera try to keep it under 3200 ISO. Now newer cameras of course can push past the suggested limits. So definitely I would advise playing around to see what the highest ISO that you're comfortable with.

And if your camera has this feature go ahead and set the iso limit to not exceed a certain point when you're shooting with auto iso. Now I shoot an auto iso all the time there is no shame in that because I know when to get out of it to get the best results that I can.


So combining everything that we've learned in this article. The next time you're output your camera in manual mode. Set your aperture value first then apply the shutter speed rule and adjust if you need to. Be an auto iso with iso limit set or put the iso to manual and just make sure to keep it under your limit.

Start at 100 first and raise it if needed. Now if your image is starting to look too bright dial down the iso and if you can't dial down the iso anymore go ahead and raise the shutter speed until you have the proper exposure.

Remember when we are moving the shutter speed to the right we're also darkening our image. Next, make sure you're using the right focus point and take your shot boom.

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