10 Tips for taking Sharp Photos by Professional Photographer Jimmy Mcintyre.


(1) Make Use of Live View + Manual Focus Skills

Although autofocus is already accurate, in some cases, such as at night or shooting flowers the autofocus may often fail. At this time, we can go to manual focus, turn on the Live View function, and press + to enlarge the screen. Then turn the focus ring until the square you want to focus is sharp.

(2) Use Mirror Lock-Up

Usually, single-lens reflex cameras also have a function called “mirror lock/pre-up”. When the camera is turned on, the camera will raise the mirror in advance when the shutter is pressed, and open the shutter to shoot.


(3) Keep the Lens Clean

You see right! Keeping the lens clean can make your photos sharper, whether it is grease, fingerprints, or dust, it can affect the capture of your photos. So it is best to clean your lens before each shot.

(4) Use a Tripod or Stable Surface

Many students ignore the importance of a tripod. Hand-held shooting in low-light places is prone to hand-shake (see the safety shutter article for details). If ISO is increased, the noise will increase and the photo will become blurry. Therefore, a stable tripod is very important.

(5) Block Strong Winds

When you shoot in a windy environment, even if you use a tripod, the wind will shake your camera. At this time, you can try to use your body to block the strong wind to keep the camera stable.

(6) Aggravate your Tripod and Use the Shutter Release

If possible, hang your camera bag under the tripod’s bottom bracket. This will make your tripod more stable. Many good tripods now have a shutter release; please use the shutter cable to avoid vibration when pressing the camera. Wireless or Wired is available.

(7) Use a Wider Angle Lens

When you use a telephoto lens, a small amount of vibration will easily show up in the photo. So if you can, please move closer and use the wider angle end. However, different focal lengths have their uses, so this section is only recommended when you have the gear.


(8) Don’t Use a “overly” Wide-Angle Lens

Some ultra-wide-angle lenses will blur the edges at the widest point. Therefore, it is best to pay attention to the characteristics of each lens when shooting.

Another way that you can avoid using the widest angle is to turn the camera upside down and take several photos in landscape orientation. After that, you can combine them in post-production software such as Photoshop, which is the same as taking a panorama photo. This method not only allows you to avoid blurry imaging at the edges of the camera but also removes lens distortion caused by wide angles.


(9) Use Low ISO

As mentioned earlier, high ISO will increase the noise and make the photos dull, if possible, try to use a low ISO and a tripod to shoot!


(10) The Choice of Aperture

If you want sharp photos, the best aperture value should be in the middle of f/5-f/10, we often use f/8 aperture when shooting landscapes. An aperture that is too small, like f/32, will increase the refraction of light, making the photo blurred; while an aperture too large, like f/1.4, will increase the range of shallow depth of field, and there is a chance to blur the subject from the focus point.

You also need to know if your lens can shoot the best imaging at that aperture. For example, Nikkor 14-24 f/2.8 is sharp in each aperture, while Sigma 24-70 f/2.8 is maximum, f/2.8 Photos become dull at this aperture, so avoid using it.

(Reference from 500px | Photos by Jimmy Mcintyre)


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Author: Alex Tam