No matter what genere we shoot, photographers always seem to be on a quest for sharper images. No matter how sharp they may already be, we’re always trying to squeeze just a little more sharpness performance out of our cameras and lenses. There are a few things we can do though, particularly for landscape photographers, that don’t involve going out and buying more expensive lenses.
In this video, landscape photographer Mike Smith walks us through seven of his top tips for getting sharper images when shooting landscapes. Some of them you may already know and apply to your own photography, but there are probably at least one or two that you might not have tried.
Some of these tips might seem quite obvious, but some of them are a little less so. You can see that there’s a bit of a theme throughout the video, though, with several of the tips referring to the issue of cameras that move during the time the shot is being taken, either through handheld camera movements, physical movements inside the camera (more so for DSLRs than mirrorless cameras) or factors of the environment itself.
- 0:28 – Tip 1 is an obvious one, but a lot of people forget this
- 1:48 – Tip 2 Get your hands off that camera!
- 2:55 – Tip 3 Dial in your settings
- 3:44 – Tip 4 Stop any movement in your camera
- 4:40 – Tip 5 Shooting handheld has its problems
- 7:15 – Tip 6 Shooting in RAW has its problems
- 8:27 – Tip 7 Shooting from a tripod tips
The first tip Mike mentions is one that I’m certainly guilty of and that’s getting your camera on a tripod. It’s not so much that I forget, I just don’t often have the time. It’s my own fault, though. If I were better prepared, I’d already have the plate on the bottom of my camera ready to slip it into a tripod whenever I’m out on my travels. More often than not, though, I don’t have that plate underneath my camera and want to get the shot quick. That’s definitely one I need to work on!
To extend Mike’s second tip a bit, about getting your hands off the camera when it’s taking a shot, instead of using the self-timer, you can use a wireless remote shutter. Many cameras now feature built-in WiFi and have a smartphone app that lets you adjust settings and take a shot without having to touch the camera. Alternatively, you could go for something like a wireless intervalometer (the way I usually go).
What’s your top landscape tip for getting sharper photos?