Why is it important to take clear and sharp photos? Imagine taking a picture at a very good moment. You will never have a chance to capture that photo frame again. When you took that photo, smiles appeared on your face. Well, what do you see when you look back at the photo, it is a beautiful moment but you took the photo blurred. All your joy, all your excitement is just gone… When evaluating a photo, the most important thing is the clarity of that photo.
Taking a sharp and clear phot is especially important in photography competitions. Because if the jury evaluating the photo decides that the photo is not clear, you are eliminated directly. If you have the possibility to take a photo again, if you can take it this year or next year, there is no forgiveness for the unclear photo. For example, a landscape, a flower photo. There is one exceptional case of clarity. If it is not possible to take a picture again, for example, a war photograph, clarity will remain in the foreground if repetition to the world is not possible. That is why we should not make clarity fault in photographs that can be taken again. Even if the photograph cannot be taken again, we still have to take care of taking clear photographs. Let’s talk about a few tips with you to take clear photos.
1- Use fixed focus lenses (prime) to take sharp photo.
If you use a zoom lens, the number of elements inside the lens will be higher than the fixed lenses. Therefore, lenses with fixed focal length always give better results.
2- Pay attention to professional photographers to take sharp photos, none of them will shoot without tripod even in daytime conditions.
The purpose of this is to minimize vibration. A solid tripod is at the top of the equipment needed for clearer photos. I especially emphasized the word solid because when I bought my first tripod, I fled cheaply and one of the plastics in the joints was broken even though I had only used it for a few days. In addition, very light tripods are swinging even in the wind, so don’t go after the light ones if you’ll not carry on your back
3- Be careful about where you focus to take sharp photos.
In photos where you take still scenes such as scenery, when the aperture range is f11 and above, if you focus your camera to a point as deep as 1/3 of the scene, you will ensure that you take the whole picture clearly. Or if you find the hyperfocal focal length of your lens and focus on that point, almost all of your photo will look clear. But if you are shooting people or animals, all you need to focus on is eyes. Not forehead, nose, cheeks, eyebrows, hands, feet. Check your photos by zooming 100% to check clarity and don’t be disappointed when you get home due to the wrong focus.
4- If you use a tripod to take sharp photos, the focus point selected by your camera may be incorrect in autofocus.
So if you’re not shooting a moving scene or person, it’s best to auto focus using the live view feature. Open Live view, choose your focus point, and your camera will perform the most healthy focus by comparing the contrast between the pixels in that are. Autofocus when live view is off does not work with this logic, so it does not give such healthy results.
5- One thing we need to be careful about taking a clear photo is the aperture setting.
Find the best apertures for your lens and try not to get out of them. I would like to mention a very common mistake: The narrowest aperture does not mean the clearest photograph. If you minimum the aperture below f13 or f16, you will start to get blurry photos due to “diffraction”.
6- Taking pictures by keeping the ISO setting to the minimum possible to take clear pictures.
In this way, you prevent the grain that may occur in the photo. A photo without grain is definitely a clearer photo.
7- Do not press the shutter with your hand to take a clear picture.
You will vibrate even if you don’t want the camera while you press the shutter button. Instead, preferably use a wired or wireless shutter. If these are not available, set the timer of your machine to a short time, such as 3 or 5 seconds, so that it can be done without touching the machine.
8- One method that will increase the clarity even more for taking sharper photo is mirror locking or live-view features.
Since SLR machines have a mirror system, this mirror causes a small flickering while getting up and down, which reduces image sharpness. By using these features, you ensure that the mirror gets up before the exposure starts and restores after the exposure ends. This reduces the vibration caused by the mirror. Be careful also when using the live view feature because you always use the digital display.
Due to your life, the battery life may be reduced by up to three quarters of normal. If you do not have a spare battery with you, you may have to finish shooting early. Therefore, it may be easier to use this while only adjusting the settings and taking the shots using mirror locking.
9- One of the most important thing for taking sharp photos is the quality lens.
Not all lenses offer the same quality. The subjects such as glass, coatings used, material used, and number of elements determine the clarity of the lens. I think it would be wrong to specify a brand here, every brand can have a very clear or unclear lens. For the most scientific comparison, check out the scores on the DxO mark site.
10- If you’re shooting using all of the above features to take Sharp Pictures, turn off your camera’s anti-vibration feature (VR in Nikon / IS in Canon).
Because you are already taking clear pictures, however, your lens will search for vibration and will distort the already clear picture because it cannot be found.
11- If we consider the situations where you do not have a tripod to take clear photos, you should provide sufficient light by using the ISO / aperture / shutter speed / exposure compensation settings in a balanced way.
But the most important thing for good clarity will be the shutter speed. There is an easy formula for handheld shooting. Whatever your focal length is, your shutter speed should be at least equal to or faster. For example, if you are shooting with 35 mm, it is the smallest shutter speed you need to select 1/35 seconds. It is 1/85 seconds when shooting with 85mm and 1/300 seconds when shooting with 300mm. If you take a series of photos in a burst mode, you will be more likely to get clear of one of them.
12- While you don’t have a tripod to take clear photos, you can use fixed and solid supports such as tree trunk, wall, bench, rock piece or objects such as backpack.
If you have a tripod and the photo you took by focusing on one place does not give you enough clarity, you can combine several clear photos with the method called “focus-stacking”. In this way, every point in your photo frame is clearly visible.
13- Finally, if it is still inadequate, make the already good photo clearer by adding additional sharpening with the ‘unsharp mask ‘in Photoshop and your photo will be clear completely.
14- The most important thing you should not forget to take clear photos is light. Note that when the light is insufficient, your shutter speed will decrease, so the picture you take may cause sharpness problems.
If you need more ideas, technique, tips and tutorials you can check our Photography page here.
May your light be bright. Stay healthy.