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How can I get sharper images??

JPmkV

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So today at sundown I took a ride down to the lake by my house. I decided to take a few shots, and this was my favorite.

Canon Xsi with 50mm 1.8 at f/1.8, ISO 400, 1/225 sec
6662794881_05d7597c75_z.jpg


I love this shot, but it's not as sharp as I would like it to be. What do you think I could do to make it better/sharper?
 
Stop that lens down a little. Lenses are not going to be at their sharpest wide open. Not sure about the 50mm 1.8 specifically, but try between f/4 and f/8.
 
Well, for starters you could choose to not shoot it at f/1.8. If you had stopped down to f/4 or smaller, there would have been a tremendous gain in sharpness.
 
Stop that lens down a little. Lenses are not going to be at their sharpest wide open. Not sure about the 50mm 1.8 specifically, but try between f/4 and f/8.

Well, for starters you could choose to not shoot it at f/1.8. If you had stopped down to f/4 or smaller, there would have been a tremendous gain in sharpness.

Ahhh I will definitely try that. Thanks, both of you!

Could you tell me when it is appropriate to shoot with a lens wide open??
 
when you are trying to get a shallow depth of field.

i don't know what any other times would be though.
 
i don't know what any other times would be though.
Sometimes the light you have to work with just makes it necessary...

A shallow DOF shot is better than no shot, even if shallow DOF isn't the most desirable.
 
Stop that lens down a little. Lenses are not going to be at their sharpest wide open. Not sure about the 50mm 1.8 specifically, but try between f/4 and f/8.

Well, for starters you could choose to not shoot it at f/1.8. If you had stopped down to f/4 or smaller, there would have been a tremendous gain in sharpness.

Ahhh I will definitely try that. Thanks, both of you!

Could you tell me when it is appropriate to shoot with a lens wide open??

Well, just keep in mind that a lens is seldom in its optical prime when being shot wide open. Stopping down the 50mm f/1.8 to even f/2.2 or 2.5 will improve sharpness while still retaining a shallow depth of field.
 
Just remember when you shoot wide open and your focusing distance is that far, your DOF is still really deep. No reason to shoot it wide open. If you put the whole car almost filled the frame, then shooting wide open will definetly give you a unique shot but not when the car is that far.
 
Thanks guys, I'll keep that in mind.
Can't wait to go out tomorrow and try it again knowing this now. :thumbup: :thumbup:
 
Nice shot! I am jealous of the weather you have!
 
When you open the aperture you are also increasing the shutter speed. The faster speed might compensate a bit for camera shake and blur.
When you return think a bit more about your composition. What is the main subject? If it is the car, what does the building add to what you are trying to express? If there are signs in a photo, I want to be able to read them. They add a nice balance and help center the car, but would they add more if we could read them?

Scroll the image up here at the website. When I did so that just the bank and a few tree trunks are visible, the car gets more attention. Is the background very interesting?

I do not have an issue with the sharpness. I think you have a pretty good focus throughout. I do not see anything that is distracting because of a blur.

Did you ad the pier for a reason? Or did you include it in the photo just because it was there. If you wanted to take a picture of a car, get closer. Try just getting a portion of the car up close, in focus, yet include the far shore with a good DOF. Maybe include a closer shot of the pier's post with the car close in the background.

You have nice color and contrast. The reflection on the door looks as though it might be interesting. Try getting a close shot of the door so we can get a good look at the reflection. Have fun.
 
One more comment. Our eyes are drawn to bright areas of an image. See that white post between the pier and the car? It is a bit of a distraction. Consider cloning it out.

Is your attention drawn to that shining part of the roof in the background? If it were darkened, we would not notice it as much. Our attention is drawn to it because it is a bright area.
 
When you open the aperture you are also increasing the shutter speed. The faster speed might compensate a bit for camera shake and blur.
When you return think a bit more about your composition. What is the main subject? If it is the car, what does the building add to what you are trying to express? If there are signs in a photo, I want to be able to read them. They add a nice balance and help center the car, but would they add more if we could read them?

I do not have an issue with the sharpness. I think you have a pretty good focus throughout. I do not see anything that is distracting because of a blur.

Did you ad the pier for a reason? Or did you include it in the photo just because it was there. If you wanted to take a picture of a car, get closer. Try just getting a portion of the car up close, in focus, yet include the far shore with a good DOF. Maybe include a closer shot of the pier's post with the car close in the background.

You have nice color and contrast. The reflection on the door looks as though it might be interesting. Try getting a close shot of the door so we can get a good look at the reflection. Have fun.

Thank you for the advice!
Originally I loved the symmetry the two signs added to the picture. The pier I left in the crop because I thought the symmetry was slightly thrown off when I cropped it out.
The reason i took this so far away from the car is because I wanted to get more of the lake and other background in the shot as well.

I also have another shot closer to the car that shows the reflection you're talking about.
6662798409_cb30f649b5_z.jpg


Thanks again for the suggestions! :thumbup:
 
Last edited:
The reflection would be much more visible if my car wasn't so diiiirty :lol:
 

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