Making sharper photos is one of the things that most obsess any photographer, so it is important at least to know a series of “structures” that will help you improve the sharpness of your photographs.
In the article I will show you what are the accessories that will help you improve your photos improving the sharpness and in this way feel much more proud of your work.
The camera and the Lens
You will hear many people say a very typical phrase in photography that says “the photographer makes the photograph, not the camera”. Well, I do not know if it’s exactly like that, I’m not very good with the phrases, but I’m sure you’ve understood it. Well, the reality is that a good team helps and a lot, especially the great majority of mortals. Of course, if one is one of the best photographers in the world can do wonders with your mobile, but surely not your case (no offense) otherwise you would not be reading my blog, I guess :).
Having a good camera and above all a good lens, I repeat, and I put it in capital letters, TO HAVE A GOOD GOAL, it is very important for our photographs to be clear.
There are many types of lenses in the market, as in this article we are talking about improving the sharpness of the photograph. I am going to recommend that you acquire a fixed lens, since by letting the light pass better, you get sharper photos, and also by this reason, the measurement of the light made by the camera is much more precise.
It means this that I just told you that you should buy a fixed goal, NO. A fixed lens has many disadvantages, and there are zoom lenses with which you can obtain photographs with extraordinary sharpness.
If you want to know what are the best lenses on the dxomark page you can know.
Finally, the cameras the more expensive in theory better photos, but it is not the most important, as I said before is much more important a good goal. The increase in the price of the camera is not produced only by the image quality, also by some functions that other cheaper cameras do not have.
The tripod, your best ally to make sharper photos
Have you ever noticed that all the professional photographers that you see in television reports or when they are in action, in effect, a tripod, are hanging in their backpacks? The great photographers always can hold their camera on a tripod to make their photographs, although there may be situations in which we can not use them, such as if we are photographing birds flying, in this case it is impossible to use them, we will need to move the camera following the animal to capture it and with a tripod it is not possible to achieve it.
By using a tripod you can get sharper pictures not only because you avoid camera shake but also because you can increase the depth of field regardless of the light in the environment by closing the diaphragm. In low light conditions we are forced to open the diaphragm, so we lose depth of field, something disastrous in landscape photography for example. On the other hand we will not have the need to upload the ISO, saving us the displeasure of, when opening our photograph in the computer see that it has a lot of noise.
It is important to obtain sharper pictures so that the tripod is stable, which means that you will have to spend a good sum of money on a good tripod to avoid moving it while we are making a long exposure photograph, give an example
Some tripods have a kind of hook where you can hang some weight object (for example your backpack) and thus be more subject. As good as the tripod is, there are occasions, such as if it is very windy, where it may be advisable to add that extra weight to try to avoid a trepidated photo.
Like the lenses, if you buy a filter, try to ensure that it is of the best possible quality. A filter will always reduce the sharpness of the photograph, although it can be improved in other aspects, such as when we want to achieve a blue sky or the silk effect in the water. Therefore, use filters only when necessary and that these are of the best possible quality.
The remote control
Well, we already know that our photographic team must add a tripod and save the filters to get sharper photos, but we are not satisfied with the result, we still want to improve it, so the next device that you should add to your photographer’s backpack is a remote control
A remote control is a kind of remote control with which you can shoot without touching the camera. When we press the shoot button we want or we will not move the camera a little, that’s why the remote control is so important, and if it is wireless, much better.
Maybe you’re thinking right now, “Well, I think it’s a bit of an exaggeration about the remote control, the movement of the camera if I touch it should be minimal”. You’re wrong, it moves, even if you do not realize it. Do one thing, through the ¨live view¨ of your camera, zoom to the maximum in some object of the frame, now touch the camera a little as if you were shooting, do you see what happens ?, It actually moves, for this reason is so important to add the remote control to our photographer’s backpack.
Oops, I almost forgot. If your camera has a Wi-Fi connection, you may be able to download an application on your mobile phone with which to make the photo without having to buy one, in this way you can save some money by not having to buy one.
Another option you have to save money from the remote control is to use the self-timer of your camera. The self-timer serves to delay the shot several seconds after pressing the button. Very much with this because you should never delay the shot less than 5 seconds, although I would recommend 10. If you have done the zoom trick that I have commented before you will realize that after touching the camera it remains vibrating several seconds, that’s why It is important to increase the delay as much as your patience allows, without becoming clear.
Despite this last option I recommend you buy a trigger, you may want to take your picture at a certain time and not delay it several seconds, as for example when you take a picture of the sea and want the picture to come out a wave crashing Against the rocks, if you do not have the remote shutter, you may have to take many photos to get the result you want.
Deactivate the image stabilizer
Some cameras and lenses have an option called an image stabilizer. This has the function of preventing the photographs from being moved. The problem is that when we take a shot and the camera has not suffered the slightest movement the image stabilizer can reduce the sharpness of our shot, you know why, because the image stabilizer generates a small vibration in the camera. So you know, if you carry a tripod, the stabilizer has to be deactivated.
Block the mirror
If you thought I was getting very fussy in this to get sharper photos wait to read what I’m going to tell you next.
Many cameras, especially professionals, have the option of blocking the mirror. What is the mirror ?, They are a set of mirrors that the reflex camera has in its interior to redirect the light that enters through the lens and be able to see it through the viewfinder. This technology that allows us to see through the viewfinder what we are going to photograph has a problem, that when making the photo the mirrors move to let the light pass to the sensor of the camera, and if, they produce a vibration.
By blocking the mirror, what we achieve is to avoid this movement and therefore reduce the vibration of the camera. To do this we must configure our reflex in this way and when we take a picture we will press the shutter twice, once to raise the mirror and therefore leave it blocked during the shot and once to make the shot itself.
If we use a remote trigger, the normal thing is that the camera is already configured to shoot in this way, at least the Nikon. Therefore, we must press the button twice, once to block the mirror and then to take the picture.H
The iso increases the sensitivity of the light and allows us to take pictures with a higher shutter speed in low light conditions. The problem is that a high ISO always generates some noise (pimples that appear in the photographs), and sometimes it can destroy the image.
As we are shooting with a tripod we will not have the need to increase the ISO, so try to shoot always with the lowest ISO value that your camera allows, which will normally be 100.
Of all the configurations that you can do with your camera this may be one of the most important to get sharper photos
When we focus we must make two decisions, first where to focus and second as, since the cameras usually have the option of focusing in manual or automatic mode.
When focusing on manual or automatic we must take into account that the camera usually does it quite well, so I would always use this option unless we are in low light conditions, in which case we should use the manual.
To focus on manual, the first thing we must do is configure the camera or the lenses, in both cases they have a tab in which we can choose the type of approach we want. Then, and through the screen of the camera we select the element that we want to focus and we zoom to the maximum. To finish we will turn the wheel of the lens until we see that the element appears focused on our screen.
The subject of where to focus is more tricky, since depending on the focal distance and the aperture of the diaphragm the photograph can gain or lose depth of field depending on where we focus. Therefore we must calculate the hyperfocal distance, which is the distance at which we must have the object focused so that the photograph is as deep as possible. To calculate it I recommend that you look for an application that does, both Android and iPhone have several options, just put Hiperfocal in the application search engine and you will have several results, choose the one you like the most.
The sweet spot of the lens
All the lenses have a sweet spot, what does this mean ?, because they have a certain aperture of the diaphragm in which they render smaller and take sharper pictures.
To know what is the sweet spot of your goal there are pages on the internet, such as dxomark where you can find out.
You may find all this somewhat confusing, but over time and as you see how your results are improving you will not mind using all these tips I have given you to get sharper pictures.
Anyway, remember that photography is to enjoy it, do not obsess about the sharpness, just try to improve little by little without ceasing to enjoy, otherwise you’ll get tired soon and your camera will end up in a drawer forever.