7 Tips to Increase Sharpness in Your Photographs

sharp photos

You might be thinking that the photos you click has the best possible sharpness you can get using a particular camera or lens. You might be mistaken, as there are few techniques and methods which can further help you maximize the sharpness in your photos.

Let’s have a look at 7 tips which can increase sharpness in your photos:

Camera sensor and lenses should be clean

The first thing that you should be sure about is that your camera sensor is clean of any dust particle. You do not want to capture moments with those dust particle visible on the image. To make sure that you get images without any dust particles visible on them, get your camera sensor cleaned on a regular basis.

Similarly, the front glass element of your lens can also attract dust particles and the same would be visible in your photos, even if you attach the lens cap after the use. To avoid this situation, mount a UV filter (a cheap one) on the lens and remove it when you need to use the lens. This will keep the dust away from the lens glass and thus you will get dust particle-free images.

Use lowest ISO available

Increasing the ISO sensitivity not only adds more noise (grains) to your photos but also affects the details captured. Using the lowest ISO available in your camera will result in photos with minimum noise and best possible details.

It is always better to use a light source such as a strobe to get in more light instead of boosting up the ISO. If you do not have a strobe handy, try using lowest aperture value (wider aperture) or a slower shutter but not below 1/60 sec as it will introduce shake in your images.

sharp photos

Choose correct shutter speed

Choosing the correct shutter speed can also let you avoid any kind of shake and thus resulting in sharp photos. To make sure that you are choosing the correct shutter speed, always follow that Reciprocal Rule. The reciprocal rule says that the shutter speed should not be slower than the reciprocal of the focal length at which you would be clicking. But if your lens has image stabilization or vibration reduction feature, then you can shoot with 2-3 stops slower shutter speed.

For example, if you are shooting using the 70-200mm zoom lens at 200mm, then you should be choosing a shutter speed of 1/200 second or faster to get sharp photos.

Use a stable tripod

There might be situations when you need to use a slow shutter speed, instead of clicking handheld try and mount your camera on a tripod or a monopod to avoid the camera shake that is created while clicking on the shutter release button.

Mount your camera on a tripod and set a time of 2 seconds to maximize sharpness in your photos. You can also introduce a shutter release cable or remote instead of the timer feature.

Switch-off image stabilization while using a tripod

While shooting landscapes in evening, star trails or light trails, you would need to slow down your shutter speed, which calls for a tripod. Remember, switching-off the IS or VR on your lens can avoid the minor shake generated within the lens which reached the camera. This will introduce minor shake in your photos as you would be clicking at slow shutter speed.

Though, while clicking photo handheld, you can switch-on the IS or VR.

sharp photos

Use mirror lock-up

In the majority of digital cameras (except for mirror-less cameras) there is a mirror that moves when the shutter release button is pressed to expose the image sensor. This movement of the mirror causes minor shake within the camera, which might affect the sharpness of the photo clicked.

To eliminate this minor shake, you can activate the mirror lock-up functionality by navigating through your camera settings. To know more about mirror lock-up and how to activate it, click here.

Use back button focus

Back button focus is again a great feature which i have been using since more than a year now, and now i don’t like switching back to the shutter release button for focusing. Back button focus is basically dedicating the focusing function to another button located on the back side of your camera.

As a result, you do not need to first half press the shutter release button and then fully press to click an image. You can click images with precise focusing as you can swiftly focus using the back button. To read more about back button focus, click here.

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About Author

Kunal Malhotra
Kunal Malhotra, a photography enthusiast whose passion for photography started 6 years back during his college days. Kunal is also a photography blogger, based out of Delhi. He loves sharing his knowledge about photography with fellow aspiring photographers by writing regular posts on his blog: The Photography Blogger. Some of his favourite genres of photography are Product, Street, Fitness and Architecture.