Man using a tripod to get sharp focus photos

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Last week we talked about focus, and the importance of submitting sharp photos to your stock agencies. If you missed it, you can catch up here.

But if you’re getting blurry photos and you’re not sure why, try these five tips for getting tack-sharp shots:

  • Check your shutter speed. A big cause of blur is actually camera shake – which shows up when your shutter speed is too slow. If you’re shooting in Program mode or Aperture Priority, you can correct this by raising your ISO in low light situations. Try ISO 800 and above in shady or dark places.
  • Use a tripod. When shooting subjects such as food or landscapes, put your camera on a tripod. This will greatly increase your odds of getting perfect focus.

Man using a tripod to get sharp photos

  • Use image stabilization. Some lenses have a feature called Vibration Reduction (VR) or Image Stabilization (IS). It’s usually a switch on the side of your lens. If you’re hand-holding your camera, be sure to turn this on. (But turn it off when you’re on a tripod.)

The image stabilization switch helps with sharp photos

  • Brace yourself. When you’re hand-holding your camera (especially in darker situations) it can help to put your back against a wall and bring your elbows in, creating a more stable body and less shake.
  • Check your shots. After you take a photo, zoom in on the back of your camera to see if the shot you just took is in focus. This will help you slow down and take your time as you shoot… and learn exactly how to nail that focus.

Of course the number one tip to mastering ANYTHING in photography is to get out and shoot. So dust off your camera this weekend and take it with you. Then take some time to practice as you go.

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