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Sharper Pictures

Sharper Pictures

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Tips on taking sharper photographs
Tips on taking sharper photographs

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Categories:Topics, Art & Design
Published by: Scribme_too on Jun 14, 2013
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06/14/2013

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How
do
I
get sharper
pictures?
Whether
it's
front-to-back
sharpness
or
depth
of
field
effects,
discover
the
camera
settings
and
techniques
you
need
for optimum definition
S
calpel-sharp picturesaren't
just the
result
of
holding
the
camera steadywhen you take a picture (although
that
plays a significant part).Your choice
of shutter
speed andaperture,
the
quality
of the
lensand how accurately it's focused,and
the amount
of
sharpening
that's
applied -either in-camera
or
with
software-
all contribute
to
the
sharpness
of your
images.
Supporting the
camera while
you
take a
shot
is key though.The rule
of thumb
for
hand heldshooting
is
to
make sure
that
theshutter
speed is equivalent
to or
faster
than
the
focal length
of the
lens, expressed as
1/focallength.
So ifyou're shooting
with
a
100mm
lens
you
should be able
to
get
sharp shots
at
1/100
sec
or
faster; switch
to
a
20mm
wide-anglelens and you should
get
away with
1/20
secThis rule only holds
for
full-frame D-SLRssuch as the
EOS
5D. Because
the
sensors in
the majority
of
Canon D-SLRs are smallerthan full-frame,
the
angle
of
view
(what the
lens'sees')
is
narrower-
and consequently,
the
effects
of
camera shake are magnified.As a result,
the
exposure needs
to
beshorter, so by multiplying
the
focal length
by
x1.6 (the sensor's'cropfactor'), you
get
the
full-frame equivalent focal length
that
canbe used
to
work
out
the
safe
shutter
speed.For instance, a
50 mm
lens effectivelybecomes an
80mm
focal length on a
600D(50
mm
x 1.6), meaning
that
you shouldn'tlet the
minimum shutter
speed
drop
below
1/80
sec
for
handheld shots.
No
great
shakes
While some photographers can takeshake-free pictures
at
speeds slower thanrecommended, others struggle
with
exposures
that
are twice as fast. Canon'sImage Stabilization (IS)lensescan helphere. They improve the chances
of getting
sharp pictures by adjusting an elementwithin the lens
to
counteractthe
effects
of
movement.
But
while
IS
often makes
 
What
it
takes
to
get
a sharp picture
the
difference between a sharp pictureand a
soft
one,
it can't work
miracles.The
shutter
speed still needs
to
be fastenough
to
freeze
the movement
of
anactive subject. When light levels
drop
and
shutter
speeds
get
slower, you'llneed a
tripod
to
keep
the
camera solid.And even when there's
plenty
of
light,a tripod enables you
to
use low
ISO
settings
for
smooth, noise-free shots,as well as giving you
freedom
over thechoice
of
aperture.The aperture setting itself has a role
to
play
in
sharpness, as
the
choice
of
STEP
BY
STEP
aperture
affects
the
depth
of
field inan image:
the more
of
this there
is,
themore
of
an image
fromfront to
back willappear sharp. Narrow apertures (withhigh f-numbers such as
f/16
and
f/22),
create greater depth
of
field, while wideapertures (with low values such as
f/2.8
and
f/4)
offer
a shallower depth
of
field.Dialling in a lens's narrowest aperture
setting
doesn't lead
to
the
sharpestresults though.
Not
only will
shutter
speeds be
at
their slowest,
but
due
to
anoptical effect called diffraction, imagescan actually appear softer. The 'sweet
..,_
How to
check
for
sharpness
1Aperture3Support
Narrow apertures enable A
sturdy
tripod and head
youtoincreasethe
will provide a stable basedepth
of
field in an image for the camera.-press the Depth
of
Field preview
button to
4150
checkwhat's sharp. Low ISOs give the
most
detail-rich pictures,
but
2Focus
you
may
need
to
up theWith landscapes,focus
ISO
in
order
to
usearound a third
of
the way smaller apertures
and/
into the scene
in
order to or
faster
shutter
speeds.maximise front-to-backsharpness.Use Live
5Contrast
View
to magnify
an
area, High-contrast subjectsand then fine-tune withand scenes look sharpermanual focus. than low-contrast ones.
"Dialling
in
a
lens's
narrowest
aperture
setting doesn't
lead
to
the
sharpest
resu
Its
though
...
"
Use Live View,
or
zoom in during image playback,
to
check
that the
area you
want
is
sharp
,
:--:-
-
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-
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~
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t:~~
1
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..
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:,
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.
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.
.
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"'
Activate
Live
View
Highlight
Magnify
Manual
focus
Live View
is
handy when Move
the
white rectangleThe
majority
of
Canon
A
Pressing'+' once magnifiesthe camera's on a tripod,over
the
area you
want
to
D-SLRs have
two
buttons the
imagex5,and pressing
as
it
makes it easier
to
focus. focus on using the control dialsat the
top
of the
thumb
rest withit again takes
it up to
xlO.WithPress the START/STOP
button or
thumbstick. This indicates magnifying glass symbols.
Tap
your
lens set
to
MF (Manual
or
the
button
with the camera the area
that
will be magnified
in
'+'to
zoom into the image during Focus) gently turning the focusicon (depending on the model).the next step. Live View,
or
image playback. ring
to
fine-tune the focus.
 
Steady
as
she goes
Although you might be capable
of
gettingacceptably sharp images when shooting with yourcamera handheld at fairly fast shutter speeds, it'sonly by zooming in
to
viewthem
at100%
on yourcamera's
LCD
screen oryour computer (when it's toolate
to
re-shoot
of
course)
that
you can really see
if
they're bitingly sharp. We'veshot this sequence
to
illustrate the difference arock-solid tripod makes.
,
Tripod technique
Even
shots
that
are taken
with
the
aid
of
a
tripod
can appear
soft if
the
tripod's
not
set
up
andadjusted correctly. For a
start,
you should avoidraising
the
centre
column
where possible
-this
essentially
turns
the
tripod into
a less substantialmonopod. Ideally, you should raise
the
camera
to
your
eye level by extending
the
legs alone.Once
the
camera is locked on
the
tripod
and you'reready
to
take
the
shot,
you shouldn't touch
it
.Instead,
fire
the shutter
using
the
camera'sself-timer or,
if timing
is critical, using a
remote
release. You should activate
the mirror
lock-up
for
exposures
of
1/15
sec
or
slower too, as
this
will
stop
the
vibrations caused by
the
mirror
slapping
up
and down inside
the
camera
from
beingtransferred
to
the
picture
.
Mirror
lockup
Disable
i
Enable
OFF
v
Reduce camera
shakecaused
by
mirror
shock
lmi!JHelp
Mirror
lock-up
This usually a Custom Function,although it's found
in
the mainshooting menu on the
SD
Mk Ill.
Self-timer
Activate this by pressing the Drive
button
and turning the control dial.
Accurate
focus
point
Getting the right parts
of
a picture
in
focus
is
essential
to
creating
an
overall impression
of
sharpness.Focus
is
critical when you'rephotographing close-ups wheredepth
of
field (the area
that
appears sharp) can
be
measured
in
millimetres,
or
when you're usingwide-open apertures, such
as
f/2.8
or
f/4
.Manually selecting a focuspoint
to
match the most
important
features in the photograph is key
to
good results here.Choosing an
AF
point
enables you
to
keep off-centre subjects sharp,
without
having
to
recompose

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