Have you ever captured an image just to find it is not as sharp as you expected it to be? Blame the lens! Blame the camera! Blame the tripod! NO! BLAME YOURSELF!
How long have I been doing it? Not getting those images as sharp as it should be? FAR TO LONG!
This post is not for those experienced photographers who do get their images tack sharp. Neither is it for those whom are masters of sharpening in PP. It is meant for those who keep bumping their head against the same wall. Those who are as arrogant as myself to believe they can get sharp images handheld at a shutter speeds of 1/60 and below. Those shooting long lenses at low shutter speeds because we are using a small aperture to gain as much DOF as possible. Those whom are getting more critical about their own work.
I am not talking about those shots in broad daylight at 1/1000sec, neither BIF and flash photography. I am talking about those doubtful shots in less than perfect light, those shots where the shutter speed might drop a tad to low like landscape shots, flowers, especially those using longer lenses.
1. Use a tripod when in doubt.
2. Use a good tripod, it is worth investing in a good tripod – I HAVE NOT!
3. Get a remote shutter release! Some of them are cheap.
4. Find the focusing point and set one of the focal points in your camera to the focusing point.
5. DO NOT RECOMPOSE! The closer you are to your subject the more critical it is not to recompose.
But I do not have a good tripod, neither do I have a remote shutter release, I hear you say. OK, do not despair, there is a solution.
A. Use your crappy tripod, like mine – a Vivitar, because I swopped my crappy Manfrotto for a more sturdy Vivitar.
B. Learn how to use Mirror Up mode on your camera. My Nikon will release the shutter after 30 seconds if the shutter button is not pressed a second time. PLEASE DO NOT ATTEMPT TO PRESS THE SHUTTER BUTTON WITH YOUR FINGER IN MIRROR UP MODE – IT DOES NOT WORK!
C. Another method: a good DSLR will have a function to DELAY SHUTTER RELEASE for a millisecond or four. What happens when you press the shutter button is that the mirror flips up and the shutter follows a moment or two later. The shutter does not release the moment the mirror is out of the way. Using this method you need to learn how to set time delay on your camera. That little function activated by the little clock sign on your camera.
You MUST NOT touch your camera during the period the clock ticks off.
What will happened is that the clock will run out of time, the mirror will flip up and then the shutter will be released a moment later. Bang, no motion blur! (On a crappy tripod like my Vivitar you will notice some camera shake when the mirror returns to the default position, does not matter, the shutter opened when the whole contraption was standing still.)
For critical shots rather use Mirror UP mode as the whole lot has more time to settle after you have pressed that shutter button with your finger. It does use more battery power but at least you will get sharp images without motion blur. The best way is to get yourself one of those cheap Remote Shutter Release contraptions.
Now, if you apply the above and you still do not get sharp images, you either have a crappy lens or your camera and lens need to be taken to a service centre for adjustment.
If you do not have any of the above functions on your camera this post will not apply to solve any blur problem you might have.
I hope this will help someone to get more sharp images.