How to keep your pictures sharp

I just went out to take photos, had a great time, the photos looked brilliant on the LCD screen, and I felt overjoyed with my perfectly timed shots.

I rush home to put my SD card into my laptop, and suddenly all of the happiness is sucked from the world into a deep sea of abyss...

I go through my images, and I'm upset with every photo that comes up. I open the next, and hope ‘please, don’t be blurry’.

Know what I’m talking about?

Whenever I go out to take photos there is one thing on my mind. Or at least should always be. One that is the most important one to be remembered regarding photographic techniques.
It is to keep my pictures sharp. If an image isn’t sharp it will lose quality, there will be no true focus, and therefore the eye won’t be attracted to whatever you were trying to put the focus on.

The single most important point to start with is sharpness.

There are three main points to consider and to help you to keep your photos sharp:

  1. Accurate focus – where do you want the point of true focus to be?

  2. Control over shutter speed and aperture – your shutter speed needs to be fast enough. You should therefore consider how steady you can be as the photographer, and how much the subject is moving. The less steady you are the faster your shutter speed needs to be. The more your subject is moving (the faster your subject is) the faster your shutter speed needs to be.

  3. Physical tips:    -          Keep your arms close to your body in order to be more stable
    -          Take the picture at the top of your breath
    -          Don’t jerk the shutter
    -          Keep your hand under the lens barrel to stabilise the camera

All of these points are really important in order to keep your pictures sharp. However, a slow shutter speed is often the reason for blurry or soft images. And you don’t want to end up sitting in front of your computer thinking (upset by the way), ‘I wish that shutter speed would have been a tick faster’.
And no, it’s not the shutter speed’s fault. Rather we should be thinking ‘I wish I had remembered to set a faster shutter speed’.

So go ahead and don’t forget to remember the single most important point – sharpness.

Have you ever been in this situation before? What was the reason for your pictures not being sharp enough, and how did you solve the problem?

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