Why are my photos soft? 5 ways to take sharp photos

If you have started to take a closer look into your photography and have become more meticulous of your work, one of the first things you will notice in your images is the focus.

It can be exceedingly frustrating when you have the perfect shot and then go to find later that the focus was a complete and utter disappointment.

Blurry photos can forever haunt a photographer and it can be caused by many reasons, but let's take a look at how you can improve your imagery right now and start taking sharper photos!


how to take sharp photos

1. Use a tripod

Blurriness can be caused most often by camera shake if you don't have a steady hand.

If you are shooting non-moving objects, use a tripod to keep your camera still to avoid any movement.


2. Shutter speed

Shutter speed is the predominant factor when it comes to achieving sharper images. Having too slow of a shutter speed, especially when hand-holding your camera, will slow down the frame and allow moving objects to become less visible and slightly blurry.

When photographing people, try to keep your shutter speed at a minimum of 1/125 to avoid any sort of blur, but the higher number, the better.

Also keep into account what lens you are shooting with.

A good rule of thumb is to always shoot at a minimum shutter speed that is higher than your lens length.

For example: if you shoot with a 50mm lens, always shoot with a shutter speed of 1/60 or higher to avoid any motion blur. For a 200mm lens, shoot at a minimum of 1/200 shutter speed.


3. Aperture

Shooting at your lens' lowest aperture can often result in soft focus.

Try closing down your lens 1-2 stops to  allow more of the subject to be in focus to assure of a sharper image.

Every lens has a "sweet spot" where it produces the sharpest focus possible. Experiment with each of your lens' to see what apertures leads to the sharpest focus.


4. Clean your equipment

Having a dirty lens can also contribute to blurry images.

Use a non-abrasive lens cleaning system to remove smudges and particles as often as possible.

A lenspen is an affordable cleaning tool that does the job and is a must-have in every camera bag!


5. Calibrate your lenses

If all else fails you are are still producing photos that aren't as sharp as you'd like, you might want to consider calibrating your lenses.

Most newer camera models have a fine-tune focusing menu where you can calibrate your lens to achieve optimum focusing, but be warned, calibrating your lenses in not for the faint of heart or to be taken lightly.

If possible, allow a professional to fine-tune your lenses or use and at-home lens calibration system for a fraction of the cost.  

Make sure you check out more of our blog here to catch up on photography tips & tricks, as well as editing tutorials.

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Have you tried out these methods to help you produce sharper photos? Which seemed to help you the most?

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