How To Take Sharp Photos Every Time!

Beginner Photography
Camera Lenses
photography tips
sharp photos
Tips & Advice

Gear Focus

Aug 19, 2021

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Knowing how to get sharp photos every time you take your camera out on a shoot can sometimes be a frustrating task. And whether it's a $200 or $1,200 lens here are a few tips to get the most out of your glass!

The Exposure Triangle

The most important aspect of photography to understand is that there are three main settings. Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO. If you don't know what those terms mean, we have a video that explains what each setting does and how it effects your image. Check out our video on camera basics to learn more about the exposure triangle. When it comes to sharp photos, the two main settings you'll pay attention to are your aperture and shutter speed. Remember, the faster your subject is moving, the faster you're going to want your shutter speed.

Focal Length vs. Shutter Speed

An important rule to remember is that your shutter speed needs to be higher than your focal length. If you're shooting a portrait at 50mm, you most likely will be just fine with a shutter of 1/125. Now if you were using a 200mm lens you would want to exaggerate this rule and use something like a 1/600. The reason for this is longer focal lengths tend to have more movement. Hint hint... sports photography! Focal Length vs. Shutter Speed

Choosing Your Aperture

Most people have the tendency to want to shoot with their lenses wide open to increase bokeh, or the blurriness in the background. But chances are if you shoot your lens completely wide open you're not getting sharp photos compared to what is possible. Next time you're on a shoot try stopping your lens down just 1 or 2 stops and you will be amazed just how much more crisp your photos look! To give an example, the Gear Focus team has recently been shooting a lot with the new Canon RF 50mm f1.2. It's an amazing lens! But we almost never shoot at f1.2 but rather choose to use f1.8 or f2. Another thing to think about with your aperture is how it corresponds to your focal length. F/4 at 200mm is a much much narrower focal plane than F/4 at 24mm. Keep that in mind when choosing your settings!

Burst Mode is Your Friend

During this process it's important to remember that it is just that; a process! Nobody is perfect and your shots won't be either. So do yourself a favor and shoot as much as you can. Don't make the mistake of thinking you absolutely nailed the shot on your first attempt and walk away to the next scene. Especially with fast moving objects. And a tip that we find helpful when using manual focus lenses, is between each frame adjusting your focus ever so slightly. We're talking millimeters! This trick combined with capturing more photos than you might think you need will give you much better odds at getting that tack sharp image! Stabilizing Your Camera Our last tip in order to getting the sharpest photos out of your gear is to stabilize it, anyway that you can! You can use a tripod, monopod, or even carefully handholding your camera. If you want to shoot handheld a good thing to remember is to use 3 points of contact. An easy way of doing that is to use a camera strap to help stabilize. Put the camera strap around your neck or body and pull it slowly until there's tension on the strap. This will act as almost an anchor and eliminate a great ton of micro-shakes that your hands usually have when filming. The best part about these tips is that they are all 100% free. They don't cost you a dime! So get out there, start shooting and have some fun trying out new techniques! Getting Started with Product Photography at Home!

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