Sharpness is one of the things most of us want to get right when taking photos. But alas, there are so many things that can mess up our plans. In this video from Adorama, Gavin Hoey will share seven great tips that will help you overcome the obstacles and get tack sharp portraits every time.
So, why are your portraits not sharp enough or they are downright blurry? Here are seven things that often go wrong, but also the suggestions on how to fix them.
1.Misfocusing on the eyes: when shooting at wide apertures like f/1.2 or f/1.4 it’s easy to miss the focus on the eyes. If your camera has Eye AF, turn it on. And if it doesn’t pay extra attention when focusing while using wide apertures.
2. Working close to your maximum ISO: just because your camera can go up to an ISO gazillion, it doesn’t mean those photos will be usable. Too high ISO degrades the image quality, so pay attention to what’s your camera’s maximum and try not to go over it-
3. Heavy cropping and resizing: when you shoot a wide photo and crop it tight, you’ll see quite a significant loss in quality. Look at Gavin’s example, there’s quite a difference between a photo of the same composition that was done right in camera.
4 & 5. Camera shake and motion blur: when you work with available lighting, you might need to dial down the shutter speed. If it’s too slow, you’ll end up with camera shake and motion blur due to the model moving. So, crank up your ISO and open up your aperture, but keep in mind the possible problems mentioned above. The best option is to add more lights, if you can.
6. Mixing ambient light and flash: when you use a flash to add more light, you still want to make sure that your shutter speed is fast enough. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a properly exposed photo, but there will be some camera movement and motion blur.
7. Slow flash duration: the last thing is flash duration. If your camera captures only the light from the flash, it is what freezes the moment. So, make your flash duration as fast as you can to get sharper portraits.