crisp photos?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by jeljohns, Mar 11, 2009.

  1. jeljohns

    jeljohns TPF Noob!

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    I've been looking at a lot of photographs and I'm always drawn to the ones that have a very crisp defined look (not really sure how to explain this). The colors look very saturated and crisp and everything seems separated and defined. My photos on the other hand seem muddy to me like everything blends together. How do I achieve that crisp look in portraits and pet photography? Here are a few links to photos I think have this quality...

    Photography 2008/2009 : Caitlin Worthington Photography

    pet photography, animal photographer, scruffy dog photography Ontario

    The second link is just to her website, I could not link individual pictures.

    Here are two of of mine....

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    One thing I noticed about most all of the photos on the sites you linked to...was that they had a very shallow DOF...thus having some parts sharp and most of the other parts fading into blur. If that is what you are trying to accomplish, then you will want lenses with a large maximum aperture.

    Of course, good use of light is always a key to good photography.

    Processing is part of the equation as well.
     
  3. TheSon

    TheSon TPF Noob!

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    Being that you did not provide Exif information, I can only assume you're using zoom lenses.

    Prime lenses will increase the sharp and crispness of a photo. Maybe you should look into changing lenses.

    My 135 2.8 takes ridiculously sharper pictures than my 55-200.

    So... prime with wide open aps (like 1.8-2.8).

    (Oh and using strobes in a studio setting will help too, like in your first link.)
     
  4. Kegger

    Kegger TPF Noob!

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    Focus, lighting, and processing are going to be your key points.

    Accurate focus being the first. Tripods and steady models help a lot. That way your focal point doesn't move out of the DOF.

    Lighting is next, good lighting is key. It has to produce the contrast to, one make accurate focus possible, and two, make your subject pop. Flat lighting is uninteresting.

    Processing is last, taking what you have and fixing whatever imperfections there are. Contrast, saturation, possibly even sharpening.

    TheSon, low grade zooms, like a slow 55-200 are never going to be as tack sharp as pro grade, fast glass.

    But primes no longer hold a death grip on sharpness. Zooms have come a long way since those days. And can surpass many in terms of overall sharpness.
     
  5. maulrat

    maulrat TPF Noob!

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    You're photos are pretty good. You just need to learn more processing skills. The first link you provided, Caitlin W., heavy processed photos. Takes a lot of time and skill to learn to produce these photos. The second link you provided is easier to achieve than the first.

    Your dog photo is pretty nice. Yes, DoF is quite a bit shallow but the dog's face is really sharp =) The blinding light to the bottom right of the dog's face is a bit harsh.

    Your first photo is in need of some processing. There is a yellow cast that needs to be fixed. Your white balance is way off. A slight contrast adjustment can help tighten things up too.
     
  6. Chairman7w

    Chairman7w TPF Noob!

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    I think that's the mountain we all try to climb as beginning photographers. (I know it is for me) I can go out and take a 100 pics, and sometimes there's only a dozen that are that Tack-Sharp I'm looking for.

    I think Big Mike nailed it, good use light is huge. I noticed that most of my best photos (sharpness wise) are in ncie, bright light. Seems elementary I know but it is what it is.
     
  7. jeljohns

    jeljohns TPF Noob!

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    I actually processed the first photo to have the yellow cast on purpose. I always like to play around with color in Photoshop. :)

     

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