Title: Fancy Footwork.
I’m often asked “How do you get your photos so sharp!?!” and my answer is always “How I do.”
The truth is there is no sharpness button that I’m using, there is no secret lens, and last but not least my camera is a tool, there are a lot of people shooting with my exact set up who’s images do not appear as sharp as mine. If there was any secret I would have to say that understanding and knowing the camera is how I get sharp photos. So for today’s blog I thought I’d touch on 5 things you can do to achieve sharper photos.
1. Know Your Camera/Gear. I know I touched on this above but knowing your camera, how it functions, and understanding it’s ability is how you get sharper photos. If fact, this is how you get BETTER photos across the board. Don’t just glance the manual take your camera out for test runs and do it often. Know each and every button and setting… it might seem confusing at first but doing this only makes it easier. Also, this is why you hear photographers say “I just took the photo” - knowing your gear becomes second nature and allows photos to just happen.
2. Understanding Depth of Field. Be mindful of extreme DoF (f/1.2, 1.4, and 1.8) as it tends to give the appearance of a soft or out of focus image. The key is to use DoF in your favor will… my favorite f-stop for many of my photos tends to be f/2.0. This f-stop gives amazing DoF while keeping my focal area sharp and viewable.
3. Proper White Balance. This one is often overlooked but in my opinion is the “secret weapon of sharp photos.” When you nail white balance your photo just sets better and is digitally cleaner.
4. Stop Over Processing Your Digital Images. 9 times out of 10 this is the reason your images are not coming out sharp. The more you bend a file, the more pixels you pop or remove from the image. We have all been guilty of this… the key is knowing when to stop. I also suggest making your own presets and not relying ones from the internet. Ever camera combo is different and a preset is no universal across the board.
5. Natural Light and How to Use It. A properly lit photo shines. I also suggest shooting with a -1/3 EV value. Overexposing an image washes out sharpness and underexposing an image tends to not only give you a darker image, but a muddy image. Always be aware of the light around you and most times moving 1 step to the left or right when composing makes all the difference.
Shot in Red Hook/Brooklyn, NYC with a Canon EOS 6D and a EF 50mm f/1.2L lens.