Is sharpness important for a good photo? Yes and no. On the one hand, technically perfect photography, as a rule, should be absolutely sharp. No matter how entertaining it may be in artistic terms, the fuzziness of plot-significant elements will make it suitable only for an amateur photo album. On the other hand, if a photograph is technically perfect, but devoid of artistic or at least protocol value, then it is generally unsuitable for anything. In other words: sharpness is important, but you should think about it only when the lighting, composition and other fundamental aspects of photography do not cause you any difficulties.
Sharpness is one of the most overrated photographic indicators. A whole army of enthusiasts is only engaged in that scrupulously testing lenses and cameras in various combinations, comparing the sharpness obtained under certain conditions. The forces of such people created innumerable tables and computer programs for assessing sharpness, but have you really bought a camera to photograph test patterns? Leave the tests to theoretical photographers who devote more time to web forums than directly shooting.
Getting a sharp shot is easy. All that is needed is accuracy and regular practice. Getting a beautiful shot is immeasurably more difficult. Here you need imagination, which not everyone is capable of developing. As Ansel Adams wrote: “There is nothing worse than a sharp photo with a fuzzy idea.” Don’t worry about sharpness while the artwork of your shots is lame.
However, I want to believe that the readers of my site are conscious photographers with a good artistic taste. It is very likely that your pictures are beautiful and interesting, but their sharpness sometimes leaves much to be desired. The last thing to do is blame your equipment. It is usually not to blame. In the vast majority of cases, the blurriness of the image is the result of the negligence of the photographer. Modern cameras have excessively high resolution, which continues to grow every year. A large number of megapixels allows you to capture microscopic details of the scene, but at the same time the slightest blur, invisible on old cameras, becomes obvious. The higher the potential resolution of the system, the less prone it is to forgive mistakes.
What should you pay attention to so that your pictures are always sharp?
Make sure you focus exactly where you want to. Depth of field is a relative concept. Absolute sharpness is possible only in the focus plane, which is no thicker than a sheet of paper. Long-focus lenses and shooting with a wide aperture significantly increase focus errors. It’s easy to find them: look at the picture – is there anything sharper than the subject? If there is – most likely you missed.
The most important object should be the sharpest – that is, you distinguish it from the less important. If we are talking about shooting people or animals, then the eyes should be impeccably sharp. Not a nose, not ears, namely eyes. In the case of a half-turn, focus on your closest eye.
Learn to use autofocus. Although the focus is automatic, it still needs constant monitoring by the photographer. Yes, he can automatically focus at a specified point, but he is not able to independently determine exactly where this point is, and why it should be in focus. In the most careful way, study the autofocus algorithm of your camera, find its weaknesses and do not require the impossible from it. Read the instructions and practice until you are satisfied with the result.
Shag is one of the main reasons for the blur of amateur pictures. If you hold the camera in your hands, trembling or tremors indulge in the camera, which invariably leads to a decrease in image quality. Shake is a random, stochastic phenomenon, and even using a short shutter speed does not insure you against grease. Even at 1/500 s you will sometimes get blurry pictures. It will just happen very rarely. With long exposures, like 1/15 s, the shake will haunt you almost relentlessly, although here too from time to time the pictures will come out sharp. In other words, we cannot fully insure against grease, but we can significantly increase the likelihood of a sharp picture. Here’s what helps you:
A slow shutter speed is great, but unfortunately it is only possible if you can open the aperture or raise the ISO without visible damage to the future frame.
The image stabilizer is a great invention. Most effective at shutter speeds in the range 1 / 30-1 / 60 s. Do not forget to turn off the stabilizer when the camera is resting on a tripod, otherwise, hunting for nonexistent vibration, a tricky device may degrade the image.
Press the shutter gently. A sharp press causes the camera to twitch at the very moment of shooting. Press to the first stop, focus, compose the frame.