9 Ways to Improve Sharpness in Your Photos

It doesn’t matter if you’re a Selfie lover or a professional photographer, the complaint which you would have heard most often would be relating to the sharpness of your images. Be it due to lack of lighting, dirt on the lenses or extreme zoom ranges, there are many factors which deteriorate the sharpness of your images.

Taking a look at “culprits” and let me warn you that there could be more than one. Either the equipment is not of the desired quality or the person behind the camera is naive in the art of photo capturing. While the former condition could be addressed with ease – by changing the equipment, the latter condition requires extensive brainstorming.

Although you can use Photoshop tutorials to edit your photos and add more brightness but it is always good to produce photos based on certain tips that would not require you to use such programs.

If you own a DSLR and want to have a killer image to earn rave reviews, here are 9 ways to improve the sharpness in your photos.


[Image Credit – ShutterStock.com]

1:- Avoid Zoom to the extremes

Provided that you aren’t a professional photographer, you would have noticed that it seems difficult to know the zooming length at which your camera gives the sharpest image. For example, for a Nikon 70-200mm lens, the sharpest image comes at 135mm. However, sadly for us camera lovers, no Camera Manufacturer would tell you the optimum range of its product.

Thus, giving you a simple yet effective tip, avoid zooming to the extremes. For example, if you own a 75-300mm lens, it would be better to shoot at a range of 200mm. If you have read the last line carefully, you would have noticed that I chose an average distance between 75 and 300. This is what you should do as well.

In other words, if you want to get the sharpest image by zooming in, choose a range which is neither minimum nor maximum but somewhere in between them.

2:- Decrease Your ISO

If you ask any native professional photographer about the usage of ISO in the camera, it is more than likely that he will tell you that ISO does nothing apart from increasing noise in the photo.

Their knowledge stops there, however, there is critical information about ISO which they usually miss: Visibility of the detail and its relationship with the ISO.

The greater the ISO of your camera, the lower will be the visible detail in the image. Thus, when you increase the ISO of your camera, you’re inadvertently giving your camera the permission to ruin your image.

Decreasing the ISO is a brilliant option, however, it is not feasible in some instances. For example, if you are trying to capture the image in a low light area, you would have no option but to increase the ISO.

In such instances, either add a flashlight or move to the area where the light Levels (LUX) meet the standards.

3:- Clean Your Lenses

Even though there are many other methods of improving the sharpness of your image, the most critical yet simple point which most of us ignore is the “dirt factor”. If dirt or dust has accumulated on the lenses, it would adversely affect the performance of your lenses.

As a result, it would be more difficult than ever to focus properly with sharp image only becoming a dream that would never come true. Thus, in order to avoid the unwanted scenario of shooting a blurred image, make sure that the front and back part of your lenses are cleaned regularly.

4:- Shoot On a Tripod Stand

Unless you’re in a graveyard, shooting on a tripod stand is the best way to keep your camera steady. In normal circumstances, our hands could tremble and picture deteriorating as a result. In addition to removing the camera shake totally, tripod stand would also help you to complete the frame in a much better way.

Thus, if you want to kill two birds with one stone – i.e. camera shake and frame incompleteness, using a tripod stand is the best option.

5:- Add More Light to the Scene

While all of us could devise new methods to improve the quality of our images, we should also be aware of the basics of good images. In order to eliminate this problem of less light, camera manufacturers have done their part in getting a good image by installing an assist beam

There are two types of assist beams that are present in your came: namely the AF assist beam and the infra-red focus beam. Both beams make focusing easier. If you aren’t comfortable with the use of assist beam, use an artificial light source i.e. bulb or hanging lamp to avoid casting shadows on your image.

6:- Activate Face Detection

Even though this method has a limitation that it only applies to stationary objects, activating face detection while capturing the images of people would elevate the sharpness in your images.

Pertinently, the best course of action is to focus on the eyes of the subject. In old camera, you would have to do it manually while all the new generation cameras have a built-in option that would allow you to do the same.

7:- Change Lens Filters

Consider a situation in which after buying a Camera worth $100, you put a lens in front of it that is worth $10. Do you think this lens would give the same result as any other lens whose price would be proportionate to that of the Camera? Of course NOT.

In our bid to save some money in the short term, we are giving away the long term satisfaction of seeing images that are brilliant and sharp. In addition, even if you are using a high price/quality lens in front of your camera, it still might not give the desired results.

So, what to do now? Don’t worry as we have a costly yet effective remedy for this “malaise” available. Change the lens. Every lens has a shelf life after which it has to be changed. Therefore, if your lens is costly and still not producing the desired results, consider changing it with the one of the same ilk.

8:- Usage of the Center Focus Point

I know that I might sound silly giving this statement, but you could never deny that the best picture comes when it is captured on a center focus point. These days, Cameras have 64-Focus points and Camera Manufacturers – God Bless them, encourages us to use all of them.

The center focus points differentiate itself from the remaining 63-focus points in only one way. If you intend to take a picture faster i.e. that of a moving train, the other 63-points are more important as compared to the center focus point.

However, if you’re focusing on a stationary object that is sitting in front of you, I would advise you to use the center focus point. Despite its traditional nature, the center focus point has always been designed to give the picture of the highest quality. Thus, while it might not focus speedily, it will do so with such composure that the quality of your picture would increase manifolds.

9:- Turning On the Image Stabilization

Although this feature isn’t available in the more traditional version of our cameras, almost all the incoming versions have the option of Image Stabilization. Thus, if you’re using a handheld camera to capture the perfect shot, turning on the Image Stabilization would do wonders.

Author Bio:- Bilal Ahmad is a blogger by profession but he loves to read and write about the art of photography. You can connect with him on @twitter.