3 Easy Steps That Improved The Sharpness Of My Images

3 Easy Steps That Got Me The Sharpest Images Of My Life

Having a high quality camera and a lens doesn’t mean you can just lean back and assume all your photos will turn out nice and sharp.

Here are three of the most important things you can do to make sure your images turn out crystal clear. Remember these steps the next time you’re planning for a photoshoot and you’ll notice a huge difference in the results!

Lock-up the mirror before firing away

In order for the exposure to be taken, the mirror in front of the sensor has to flip up, then the shutter opens to allow light to hit the sensor. If the mirror flips up at the same time the shutter opens, there is the potential for very slight movement of the camera due to vibrations caused by the mirror flipping up.

Most modern DSLRs give you the option of locking the mirror up well before the exposure is taken. The Nikon D810, for example, gives you the option of locking up the mirror anywhere between one and three seconds before the shutter opens. I always choose three seconds, unless there’s a need to shoot quicker. That makes sure the camera is nice and still before the shutter opens and the exposure is taken.

Use a sturdy, well-grounded tripod

On a tripod, you can shoot at any shutter speed and the camera and lens will (ideally) stay motionless. This assumes your camera is firmly fastened to the tripod head, and the tripod’s foundation is well anchored and balanced on the ground. Make sure your tripod feet are solidly on the ground before setting up the camera (I usually press down relatively hard on the tripod to make sure the ground won’t give way…this is especially important on loose ground like mud, wet rocks, or sand).

Then, once your composition is set, make sure your tripod head is locked in position. Additionally, If your tripod has a hook beneath the centre column, hang something with a little bit of weight on it to further lock down the tripod. Even a gentle gust of wind, or the vibration from a nearby car passing by, can introduce minor camera movement into a tripod setup, so you want that setup locked down as tightly as possible.

Keep your lenses, filters, and camera sensor clean

If your lenses and/or filters have dust or debris on them, however small and unnoticeable to the naked eye, it can create ugly soft spots on your photograph. There have been countless times I was in such a hurry to go shoot, I didn’t check the glass to see if it needed a good cleaning. This especially holds true if the lens I am using has been sitting on my shelf for a while, collecting dust. Even if the lens has been wrapped up in a pouch with a cap on top, it can still accumulate dust on the outer element.

You can use the Dust and Scratches Filter in Photoshop, use the healing brush, and/or clone away only so much before the smudges become a real time-consuming burden. This is easily avoidable if you make it a routine to clean your glass before heading out to shoot.

Get even more tips on increasing the sharpness of your photos over at Digital Photography School.

Source: Digital Photography School

Leave a Reply