Photography Tips #1: Sharp Hand-held Photos

October 04, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

Thought I'd share a series of tips that photographers can use to improve their photography; here's Tip #1:

1.  Improve sharpness of your images by setting correct shutter speed when you are HAND HOLDING your camera (the most convenient way to shoot).

Using the focal length of the lens you are shooting with as a guide, for example a 50mm fixed lens, set your camera's shutter speed to exceed that number.  

So, a 50mm lens must have a shutter speed of 1/60th of a second or greater.   Shooting at a focal length of 200 for a 70-200m telephoto, you should shoot at a minimum 1/250th of a second.  400mm?  1/400 -1/500th of a second.

Shooting moving subjects, like sports?  Kick that up a to at least 1/400th of a second if you are trying to freeze motion.

One easy way to do this is to use your TV mode (Time Value);  set it to the appropriate shutter speed and the aperture will be handled automatically for you.

2008-03-16-0012

Even if you have an image stabilizing lens, your moving subjects will still cause blur unless you can freeze them.   Sometimes the blur helps show motion and that may be desired however so just the focal length equivalent will work fine.  

Below is an example of a long exposure (2 seconds) to create motion.

Learn these techniques and more with my "hands on" Photography Mentoring session.


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