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

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

    Reason No. 6 Your Photos Aren’t Sharp: AF focused on wrong subject

    Close-up photography tips from our professional photographer: set the right focus points

    Modern cameras can really make life easy for you, setting the focus point, exposure and white balance automatically to deliver great images.

    However, they are not infallible. If you let the camera take control of the focus point selection it may get it wrong.

    Many cameras are calibrated to focus on the nearest subject towards the centre of the frame. As a result if your subject is near the edge of the frame or not the closest object to the lens the camera may focus on the wrong point.

    This is especially true when shooting subjects close-up as the camera usually looks for something in the mid-distance and you may find the background is in focus rather than your subject.

    The simple solution here is to take control over the focus point yourself. The mode you want is usually called something like Single point AF or Select AF.

    Once you have selected the correct mode, use the camera’s navigation controls to select the AF point that lies over your subject in the frame.

    Even if you camera has lots of AF point there are likely to be some occasions when there isn’t one that lines up with the subject.

    If this happens simply choose a point that’s near the subject, or the central point (as it is the most sensitive), and move the camera so this point is over the subject.

    Then half-press the shutter release to focus the lens, before recomposing the shot while keeping the shutter release button pressed. When the scene is correctly composed push the shutter release home to take the shot.

    This focus-and-recompose technique is very useful and it gets quicker with practice so some photographers use it all the time.

    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


    Bracketing Explained: what you need to know about maximising detail in your photos
    Don’t bide the dust: a perfectly safe guide to sensor cleaning
    Manual focus: what you need to know to get sharp pictures

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

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