10 reasons why your photos aren’t sharp (and how to fix them)

    | Photography Tips | 15/05/2013 00:01am

    Reason No. 10 Your Photos Aren’t Sharp: Aperture too small

    Tips from our professional photographer on shooting pictures of castles: select the right aperture

    Although using a small aperture increases depth of field (the size of the focused area in the shot) it also increases the impact of diffraction, the bending of light as it passes over the edge of the aperture blades.

    This bending prevents the light from focusing on the sensor and thus softens the image. The smaller the aperture, the greater the proportion of unfocused light reaching the sensor, so the greater the softening effect.

    This means that there is a compromise between depth of field and sharpness. Rather than closing the aperture right down to its minimum setting, it’s better to open up by stop or two.

    To discover how aperture size influences sharpness with your lenses, set your camera up on a tripod and focus on an object with lots of detail. Then take a shot at every available aperture setting.

    When you’ve finished transfer the images to your computer and examine them at 100% on the computer screen.

    Look carefully at the point of focus and you’ll see that the images go from being a little soft when the aperture is wide open, to being progressively sharper as the optimum aperture is approached.

    Beyond this the image becomes softer again as diffraction becomes more of an issue.

    Reason No. 1. Your Photos Aren’t Sharp: Shutter speed too low
    Reason No. 2 Your Photos Aren’t Sharp: Camera shake
    Reason No. 3 Your Photos Aren’t Sharp: Vibrations from touching the camera
    Reason No. 4 Your Photos Aren’t Sharp: Mirror-slap
    Reason No. 5 Your Photos Aren’t Sharp: Subject movement
    Reason No. 6 Your Photos Aren’t Sharp: AF focused on wrong subject
    Reason No. 7 Your Photos Aren’t Sharp: Continuous AF not selected
    Reason No. 8 Your Photos Aren’t Sharp: Continuous AF selected
    Reason No. 9 Your Photos Aren’t Sharp: Depth of field too shallow
    Reason No. 10 Your Photos Aren’t Sharp: Aperture too small


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    Posted on Wednesday, May 15th, 2013 at 12:01 am under Photography Tips.

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