A Guide to Sharper Shots - part 1

May 21, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Have you ever returned from a days photography only to find that some of your shots are blurry or soft around the edges?

You've spent all that money on a good camera so that you can record those special moments, or fabulous sights and when you get home and upload your pictures to your computer screen you get that sinking feeling and you know you won't get to record that moment again.

It happens to us all!!! The key to success is understanding why it happens. Thankfully, most of the time it can be narrowed down to one of 3 reasons:

  1. Camera Shake
  2. Incorrect Focussing
  3. Subject Movement

In part 1 of my Guide to Sharper Shots we will focus on Camera shake, it's causes and how to eliminate them.

 

Camera Shake

 

If your photo's are consistently blurry throughout the entire image then it is probably due to camera shake.

Blurry LensThe blur in this image is as a result of camera shake. In this instance the shutter speed of the camera was too slow, this could have been fixed with the use of a tripod.

 

This is caused by camera movement at the moment of exposure (when you fire the shot). When shooting in low light with slower shutter speeds this can happen a lot.

There are a number of ways to combat this and they will all work, so if your shots suffer from camera shake try these tips to put it right:

  • Use a tripod - One way to guarantee that your photo's will be free from camera shake is to use a tripod, although it is advisable to use the self timer to prevent jolting the camera when pressing the shutter button.
  • Hold the camera correctly - There really is a right way to hold a camera! Keep your left elbow tucked into your ribs to stabilise your supporting hand. your left hand should be supporting the camera's lens, whilst your right hand goes on the grip to operate the shooting controls. To further stabilise your body, your feet should be shoulder width apart with your left foot forward and your right foot outwards.

Hand Holding A CameraLeft hand supports the lens. Right hand holds the grip. Left elbow tucked in for stability. Feet shoulder width apart.

  • Speed up your shutter - The slower your shutter speed is, the greater the chance of the camera moving during the exposure. So, make sure your shutter speed is fast enough to make any camera movement insignificant. How to do this varies from camera to camera, therefore you will need to consult your camera's manual, but generally speaking a shutter speed of 1/200sec is enough to eliminate camera shake on static or slow moving subjects.

Shutter Speed1/200sec Shutter Speed

So, if your shots suffer from camera shake then try these methods to overcome it and you'll be getting pin sharp photo's all the time.

Look out for Part 2 of this Blog when we will be looking at Focussing Errors and how to fix them. 


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