You come home from taking adorable pictures of your kids at the park and realize they are just slightly out of focus or fuzzy. You wonder why you can’t get crystal clear images. There’s got to be a secret, right?
Does this sound familiar to you?
I get this complaint from parent all the time. How do photographers get such beautiful sharp images?
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I am going to share with you 9 handy little tricks for super sharp photos of your kids.
First and for most, you need to make sure your camera is focusing properly.
This may sound completely obvious, but it has to be mentioned. If you are using auto focus, make sure both your camera and lens are set to auto focus. If you are manually focusing, PRACTICE! Just make sure you are focused on what you want to focus on. Don’t worry the next few tips aren’t as silly sounding, but just as important.
The first tip leads me into this one. Set your camera to single-point auto focus.
This is especially important if you are shooting in a wide open aperture (small f number like f/1.4-2.8) Using one focus point will help you nail a clear image every time!
Use a lower ISO.
Having a high ISO adds grain, noise, and pixelation to your image. This will give your photo a blurred and fuzzy appearance. Use your other manual settings, shutter speed and aperture, to help you achieve the lighting needed to lower your ISO setting. If you need more help with these three settings, sign up for my FREE course.
Get a better lens.
This one might be a hard one to swallow and one you are reluctant to jump on board with, but trust me. If you are serious about improving your photography skills, investing in a new lens will make a world of difference. Start with a 50mm 1.8. It isn’t a huge expense and will improve your photos like you wouldn’t believe. If you have a Nikon, this is a great starter lens. Check out this lens if you have a canon.
Take your filter off of your lens.
If you are using a filter on your lens, you may lose some clarity to your image. I suggest learning to take super clear photos without a filter before experimenting with different filters. Many photographers love filters, but I prefer plain old lenses and think your images will be stunning without them.
Make sure your equipment is clean.
Another obvious tip, but make sure your lenses and other glass are nice and clear. Dirty glass is a likely culprit for fuzzy images.
Choose your aperture wisely.
If you are photographing people, use the rule of thumb that your aperture number is at least as big as the number of people you are photographing. If you are photographing 2 people, set your aperture to f/2.8 or higher. If you are photographing a group of 8 people, stick to an aperture of f/8 or more. The higher your f/stop number, the smaller your aperture (opening in your lens) and the larger depth of field. This means more of your image will be in focus than if you set your f/stop number lower.
Shutter speed plays a very important role in the focus of an image.
The quicker your shutter opens and closes, the sharper your image will be. However, the quicker the shutter speed, the less light will enter your lens. Use your other settings to help keep your shutter speed quick enough to achieve a sharp image. Again, if you don’t know much about shutter speed, my FREE course will teach you everything you need to know.
This tip is directly related to the above tip. Use a tripod and/or a remote when needed.
Camera shake, even the slightest movement, will cause a blurry and out of focus image. If you need your shutter speed to be a bit slower, use a tripod to keep your camera completely still. The general rule of thumb is to use a shutter speed with a number more than the length of your lens. If you are shooting with a 50mm prime lens, use a shutter speed of 1/60 or more. If you are using a zoom lens of 55-200mm, use a shutter speed of 1/250 or more. If this is not possible because of the lighting or image you are trying to achieve, than use a tripod to keep from having any camera shake.
There you have it! Use any or all of the tips above and I am sure your images will be sharp and beautiful every time!