4 Reasons Your Photographs Aren't Sharp & How to Fix Them
When you put so much time and effort into taking a photograph, the last thing you want is for the final image to be anything less than sharp. However, even the most experienced photographers can find themselves with blurry photos on occasion. In this blog post, we'll take a look at four of the most common reasons for blurred photographs and what you can do to fix them.
1. You Have Camera Shake
One of the most common reasons for blurry photographs is camera shake. When your camera moves even slightly while the shutter is open, it can cause your image to appear blurry. The best way to avoid this is to use a tripod whenever possible. If you don't have a tripod handy or if you're trying to capture a photo in low light without using a flash, there are still some things you can do to minimize camera shake. First, try using a faster shutter speed. The general rule of thumb is that your shutter speed should be equal to or greater than your lens' focal length. So, if you're using a 50mm lens, you should use a shutter speed of 1/50th of a second or faster. Second, rest your camera on something solid instead of holding it in your hands and brace yourself as best as you can to keep the camera still. Finally, use image stabilization if your camera has it.
2. You Aren't Using Enough Light
Another common reason for blurry photographs is that you aren't using enough light. This is usually easiest to see when photographing in low light conditions without using a flash. When there isn't enough light available, your camera has to compensate by using a slower shutter speed than it would normally need to properly expose the photo—and as we mentioned before, slow shutter speeds are more likely to result in blurry photos due to camera shake. If you don't have enough light available and you don't want to use a flash, try raising your ISO setting. This will make your sensor more sensitive to light, which will allow you to use a faster shutter speed and avoid blurriness due to camera shake. Just be careful not increase your ISO too much as this can lead to noisy photos.
3. Your Subject Is Moving Too Fast
If your subject is moving too fast for your shutter speed, then it's likely that they will appear blurry in your photo as well—even if everything else in the frame is perfectly sharp and in focus. This is especially common when photographing sports or other fast-paced activities where subjects are constantly moving around quickly. In these cases, you'll want to choose the highest possible shutter speed that will still allow you get an exposure that's neither too dark nor too bright. A good starting point would be 1/500th of a second or faster but depending on how fast your subject is moving and how much light is available, you may need something even quicker than that—some professional sports photographers use shutter speeds as high as 1/2000th or 1/4000th of a second!
4. Your Focus Is Off
If everything in your photo appears blurry except for one small area or if parts of your photo are sharp but others are soft and fuzzy, then it's likely that your focus was off when you took the picture. Most cameras have some form of autofocus but it's not always 100% accurate—especially in low light or when photographing fast-moving subjects as we mentioned before. If autofocus isn't getting the job done or if you're having trouble nailing focus manually, there are some other things you can try like switching from single point autofocus to zone or wide-area autofocus or increasing your camera's AF point density (if it has this feature).
There are plenty of reasons why your photographs might not be turning out as sharp as you'd like but thankfully, there are also solutions for each one of those problems! By following the tips outlined above, you'll be able improve the sharpness and overall quality of all your future photos!