DSLR Photo Tip, It Is Not Your Cameras Fault!
Today's DSLR photo tip (actually this covers any camera, not just a DSLR) involves getting sharper images. Have you ever had someone look at one of your photographs and say something like, "Look how c...
Irritating isn't it? As photographers, we know that the clarity of an image has NOTHING to do with the camera. It all has to do with good shooting practices. When someone credits the camera for sharp images -or saturated colors - or anything else, they clearly know nothing about the art and science of photography!
For a long time photographers would say they "made" a picture instead of they "took" a picture. It's the photographer, not the camera.
On the flip side of the coin, if you can't give credit to the camera for your sharp images, you also can't blame the camera for your screw-ups! It's all you baby!
I've never run across a camera that is incapable of getting sharp photos, so if you are having trouble, here are a few pointers on how to fix the problem.
First - Camera Shake. Camera shake is the number one culprit in blurry images. What this means is that - at the time of exposure - your camera moved.
There are several potential causes - and each has their own cures.
Stabbing at the shutter button instead of gently squeezing it in handheld shots. This is the same idea used in shooting a rifle. Pull the trigger and you miss the target because the rifle moves. Squeeze it and you are golden.
Along the lines of shooting a rifle, notice the rock solid stances they use. Do the same thing!
On the subject of depressing the shutter release button, when using a tripod you should lock up the mirror and use a timed release.
Increase your shutter speed. This obviously works because the less time the shutter is open, the less time there is for camera movement. It's this concept that controls most of the automatic settings on your camera. On auto, your camera will shoot at the fastest shutter speed possible - to avoid shake.
In other words, your shutter speed is determined by an attempt at clarity, not your artistic vision. Your camera is a machine, not an artist. Take it off auto!
Second - Your lens. While virtually all cameras are able to get sharp images, the same is not true of all lenses! First rule of thumb, buy the best lenses you can afford! Always!
Most lenses have a sweet spot at around f8 or f11 where they are at their sharpest. If you are shooting at the outer extremes of exposure, you are far less likely to get a sharp photo.
The sweet spot on your lenses is easy to find, just set up your camera on a tripod and shoot at all the possible exposures. It only takes a few minutes and you will know for sure what your lens' sweet spot is!!
Another lens aberration is that (if it is a zoom lens) you will not get the sharpest images if you zoom out to the maximum. Back it off a bit. Again, test it to find the sweet spots!
When you are using a tripod, some lenses require the image stabilization (vibration reduction) turned on and others want it turned off. Only your lens manual knows for sure. Read it. Ten minutes of sheer boredom can result in a lifetime of crystal clear photography.
If you MUST use a cheap lens, keep in mind that they are cheap for a reason. The manufacturing specifications and tolerances just aren't there. What this means is that two of the exact same lenses by the same manufacturer can and will perform differently. If your lens isn't up to snuff, try returning it for another.
Third - Your tripod. The wider the base, the more stable it is. ALWAYS extend the legs to their maximum point before you consider extending the center column. Cranking up your center column makes the whole thing top heavy, unstable and shaky. Shaky causes fuzzy pictures.
Today's DSLR photo tip is about getting sharper images by shooting with the correct techniques and lenses. Whether it is a digital camera or a film camera, it's not to blame (for either your successes or your failures)!
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Dan Eitreim has been a professional photographer in Southern California for over 20 years - his data base exceeds 6000 past clients, and he says that learning photography is easy, if you know a few tried and true strategies.