April 2012
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How to make your photos more sharp, some tips (part 2) ..

Read the first part of this series (getting sharp photos):

Tip 1011 (Using a fast shutter speed): One of the most important reasons for getting blurred photos is because the shutter speed is taken with the shutter being so slow that either the object moves or the camera shakes. What an ideal shutter speed should be for getting sharp photos is depends on a number of factors, such as level of zoom, type of lens, etc. But there are some variables that can be adjusted for getting sharper photos. You need to adjust the overall exposure, which is a combination of shutter speed and aperture, so for a faster shutter speed, you need to open the aperture as much as possible.

Tip 1012 (Using a higher ISO for optimizing exposure): Just like in the previous tip, you need to ensure that your shutter speed is high enough that shake (and hence blurring of the photo) does not happen. In order to make this happen, besides aperture and shutter speed, you can use another variable, which is the ISO setting for the camera. The ISO controls the light sensitivity of the camera, and with a higher ISO, you get apparently more light in the photo, which means you can set a shutter speed that is faster than at a lower ISO (since the higher ISO will compensate for the reduction in light by using a faster shutter speed). One constraint is that a higher ISO will result in more noise in the photo, although many point and shoot cameras give decent (where the noise is not so apparent) till the ISO value of 800.

Tip 1013 (Type of lens): One does not like to sound condescending, but the typical kit lens that comes with cameras is inferior to many of the higher quality lenses that a person can buy. Many professionals and experts do an analysis of the lens that they need, with the camera body not being the most important part of the buying behavior. Higher quality lenses tend to be faster, which means that they offer bigger aperture values, and hence the shutter speed can be made faster for the same light conditions.

Tip 1014 (Auto ISO): In a tip above, I mentioned that the a higher value of ISO is fine in cases where light conditions are not so good. And a lot of point and shoot cameras have something called Auto ISO. However, if you take a photo in a low light condition using Auto ISO, it might look okay in the LCD screen of the camera, when you take it to the computer or try to print, and if the ISO level was around 1600 or higher, the overall quality of images generated would not be so great (except if you have high end SLR’s that show good quality even at higher ISO levels).

Tip 1015 (Low light and auto focus): Auto focus can have a lot of problems at low light levels. You must have observed that when the light level is low, the camera can do partial flash many times before it acquires a focus, since the camera is not able to get focus so easily at low light conditions. The focus works well when there is contrast between the object of focus and the surroundings, and in low conditions, acquiring this contrast becomes more difficult. There are no good solutions to this (unless you can increase the contrast or add more light), unless you can focus on some other object that is in the same focal plain and then take the photo without changing the focus that has been achieved.

Light It, Shoot It, Retouch It The Digital Photography Book Beyond Snapshots: How to Take That Fancy DSLR Camera Off “Auto”

Videos of getting sharp photos from youtube:

Digiscoping. How to take Sharp Photos: Focus, Aperture, Timer, Tripod & Quality Optics

“PhotoTips” How to get sharp images (My top 10 tips)

How to get the sharpest images possible

chromatic aberration in video (how to get sharp images)

Photography tips: Handholding your camera (by wildlife photographer Chris Weston)

No Mac, No Cheese – Episode 5: Sharp images in low light


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