We have all been there. You get back from a shoot and you load your images onto your computer only to find out that the pictures are not as sharp as you thought they were originally. Even when you zoom in on your camera, you might miss that the pictures are slightly softer than you want. Want razor sharp photos? Then check out this list of tips for sharper photos.

tips for sharper photos

Use a Faster Shutter Speed

A faster shutter speed should be your first step towards getting sharper images. The most common reason for soft photos is motion blur caused by your subject moving faster than your shutter.

The rule of thumb for handheld shutter speed is that your shutter speed should not be slower than the focal length of your lens. For example, if you’re shooting with a 50mm lens, your shutter speed should be at least 1/60 or faster. With a 200mm lens, your shutter speed would be at least 1/200 of a second or faster. And so on…

Use a Smaller Aperture

It is all about that exposure triangle, folks! When you are having trouble getting sharp images, try shooting with a smaller aperture.

While most lenses are just a little bit sharper throughout the entire frame at smaller apertures (f/8 and higher), it could just be that you are shooting at a low depth-of-field.

Yes, you might need to bump up your aperture from f/1.4 if you want sharper shots. Just saying…

Keep Your Lens Clean

Also at the top of the list of tips for sharper photos is making sure your lens is CLEAN!

Dust and dirt on your lens element can not only cause artifacts in your images but they can also disturb the focusing of your lens and fool your camera into thinking it is properly focused.

While you are cleaning your lens, you should also clean any filters you are using. Speaking of filters…

Remove Unnecessary Filters

If you have filters on your lens that you don’t need, and you are having issues with focusing, remove those filters!

The more glass you have between you and your subject, the more likelihood that something might interfere with focusing.

Low quality filters can also decrease the sharpness of your images.

More Tips for Sharper Photos

Still having issues? Here are a few more things you can try:

  • Shoot remotely (even the movement of your finger pressing the shutter button can cause a blurry image when you are shooting at very slow shutter speeds)
  • Image stabilization (if your lens has it, use it!)
  • Manual focusing
  • Lens calibration (you may need to adjust your lens to focus more sharply)
  • Use a tripod (again, if you have to shoot at slow shutter speeds, a tripod or monopod may be necessary to get sharp photos)
  • Sharpening software, as a last resort, using sharpening software might be the only thing that can save an image. Just be sure to realize when a photo is too far gone.

Do You Have Any Tips for Sharper Photos?

Have any tips other than what I have shared here in this article? Head over to Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter and let me know in a message or a comment. I would love to share them with everyone.

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