How To Take Sharper Pictures ( 10 Ultimate Tips )

Digital Photography Tips for Sharper Images
Seasoned photographers have quite a few tricks up their sleeves to get sharper images. While there are some factors that are difficult to control such as wind when you’re out in the field shooting flowers, or low light when you’re shooting a moving subject without flash, others can be remedied.

Sharper Images Tips # 1: Support your Camera

• How To Take Sharper Pictures? If at all possible, try not to hand-hold your camera. Tripods have tremendous benefits in all kinds of light.

If you’re doing landscape work in good light, a tripod allows you to use a slow shutter speed for great depth of field. In low light or at night, a tripod enables you to take a good-quality picture without having to increase the ISO. This prevents digital noise that degrades the picture quality.

• A tripod is especially important for macro shots. Your pictures will not be as crisp without them. Using a tripod also means that you can increase your depth of field substantially.

• When using a tripod, make sure not to raise the center column too high. Instead, ensure maximum stability by extending the legs fully.

• If you don’t have a tripod, a monopod or beanbag will do. Alternatively, you can place the camera on a low wall or any sturdy structure.

Tips # 2: Perfect your Stance

• If you absolutely have to hand-hold your camera, take care to hold it steady with two hands, right above your center of gravity, especially in the less stable upright position.

• A good camera-holding technique is to hold it as if it is a rifle. Rest the camera in your left hand with your fingers on what used to be the focus ring, now the zoom ring, eyepiece against your dominant eye, right-hand holds the right side of the camera with the index finger on the shutter release, and elbows in tight.

• A variation is to hold the camera with your right hand, and index finger on shutter control. Reach across your chest with your left hand and grab the top and back of your right shoulder. Rest the lens in/on the crook of your left arm.

• When standing, keep your feet comfortably spread apart with one foot slightly forward of the other. For additional stability, consider a long strap looped around the lens and the other end tightened under your foot in the absence of a tripod.

• Alternatively, and if possible, brace yourself or the camera against solid support, such as a tree or wall.

• To avoid the camera shaking when taking a photo, try taking a deep breath, holding it, and then pressing the shutter release. Alternatively, you can exhale and take the photo before inhaling again.

Paying attention to how your body moves while you breathe can help you keep the camera steady and capture sharper images. This technique is particularly useful when shooting with a slow shutter speed, as it can help to minimize camera movement and produce a clear, well-focused photo.

• Release the shutter smoothly.

You may also like: 10 Best Pro Tips For Architectural Photography

Tips # 3: Invest in Lenses with Image Stabilization

• Use the absolute best lenses that you can afford. don’t get too caught up in the numbers though.

Sean says, ‘There are some lenses that are f/2.8 and not sharp, yet there are a couple of canons L series lenses that are f/4 and extremely sharp. There are also f/2.8 lenses that really do not start performing great until they hit f/4-f/6.’ Do your homework before opening your wallet.

• Image stabilization technology has recently become more available to photographers. Also known as vibration reduction and anti-shake, This technology lessens camera shake caused by hand movements, slow shutter speeds, or the use of a long telephoto lens without a tripod to prevent blurry digital photographs.

• Be aware that you can see the vibration caused by the mirror going up if you have a long lens on your camera and you’re using a light tripod. It’s therefore advisable to turn this feature off when using a tripod.

• If you don’t have a tripod handy, turn on stabilization, brace the camera as best you can, then turn on the drive to shoot a number of photos at once. By remaining still and holding the shutter release firmly down, one, or some of the shots in the middle will be pretty sharp. (By the way, taking a burst of photos is also useful when shooting a group, it increases the chances that a shot will have everyone with their eyes open.)

How To Take Sharper Pictures Tips # 4: Use Mirror Lock-Up

• Using mirror-lock up is a trick for SLR users (point-and-shoot cameras don’t have a mirror). It’s the reason for the camera vibration.

Flipping the mirror up well before the shutter opens, enabling the vibrations to subside, is known as mirror lock-up. Therefore, the mirror lock-up must be activated before the image is finished.

Tips # 5: Use a Shutter Release Device

• If you want to eliminate even the smallest camera shake, consider investing in a shutter release cable.

When shooting with longer shutter speeds, it’s important to use a shutter release cable or a wireless remote to avoid camera shake. This can be especially helpful when working with a slow shutter speed, as even the smallest amount of camera movement can blur the image.

Shutter release cables and wireless remotes are available for most DSLR cameras, and they allow you to take a photo without touching the camera, which helps to keep it steady. The wireless models use infrared technology, so you can take photos from a distance without worrying about wires getting in the way.

• A good alternative is to set the self-timer on your camera. I like to set mine to two seconds.

Tips # 6: Switch to Manual Focus

• There are situations where the manual focus will help you get clearer images. For example, when there is more than one plane of focus in your image (foreground, middle ground, and background), the auto-focus mechanism can’t know which plane to focus on. The answer is to use manual focus.

• When light levels drop, it’s advisable to switch to manual focus. Auto-focus is dependent on color and contrast. In low light, there is sometimes not enough contrast in a scene for the auto-focus to work well.

Tips # 7: Be Aware of Environmental Factors

• When shooting outdoors, the wind is the number one enemy of photographers, especially when doing macro work. The slightest breeze will lead to blurry photographs. Wait until there is a lull in the wind or try your luck with macro subjects before sunrise and after the sun goes down. These are the times of day the wind often dies down.

Tips # 8: Control the Shutter Speed

• An important factor in taking sharp pictures is shutter speed. Many seasoned photographers consider 1/125 a ‘safe’ speed to take sharp pictures. However, when you use longer focal length lenses or when the focusing distance is closer, 1/250 or 1/500 is probably a safer bet.

Tips # 9: Bump Up ISO

• As a last resort you can prevent blurry photos by bumping up the ISO in low-light conditions. Just be aware that the higher the ISO, the poorer the image quality.

Tips # 10: Sharpen in Post-Processing

• I always recommend that you shoot in RAW for maximum control over the quality of your images. Although it’s not possible to fix an out-of-focus image, you can apply a degree of sharpening to ‘soft’ images in post-processing. My personal favorite tool to use for this is the unsharp mask filter in Photoshop.

• Make a layer copy of your background layer by going to Layer > Duplicate Layer. while on the background layer, go to filter > sharpen > unsharp mask. In the dialog box, change the amount to 10, the radius to approximately 40, and the threshold to 0.

This is a good setting for most images to give them more contrast and sharpen them without looking too sharp. Alternatively, you can try settings of 20 for amount, 50 for radius, and 0 for threshold.

This is a little more intense and you can play with the opacity slider for the layer and tone it down. Both of these settings will give a little more pop and contrast to all kinds of photos.

While I was doing research for this article, an experienced photographer on Picturesocial made an interesting observation. He said, ‘one thing to keep in mind is that there is a difference between “sharpness” and “crispness”.

A photograph can be well focused and absolutely not crisp in the final image due to a too shallow depth of field and subject movement while the shutter is open.’

My gratitude also goes to the other seasoned photographers who took the time to make suggestions for this article. Thank you


This is my view on “How To Take Sharper Pictures”
Do you have any Feedback or Suggestions you would like to share?

If you have any questions related to this post or any suggestions from your side are always welcome, Please feel free to comment down below or you can contact us through our contact us page.


Leave a Comment