Another tip

One more beginners’ tip today for my readers. (The term “my readers”, it occurs to me, makes me sound a little like col. Qaddafi. whose Green Book I read when I worked in Libya for around a year, a few decades ago).

Anyway. I often see that my images are really, really sharp where others’ are often not quite as sharp. So how do you make your images sharp? I have written about this before, see here, among others. Operation, light, settings, and good (prime, or quality) lenses all come into this.

A student, photographed by Michael Willems.

Student Volunteer, photo Michael Willems. Canon 7D, f/5.6, 400 ISO, 1/125th sec.

When you show that image large (original size), you see it’s sharp.

A student, photographed by Michael Willems. Detail.

Student Volunteer, photo Michael Willems. (Detail).

But today a quick tip about errors I see people make frequently.

Whenever I see people whose images, in spite of good lenses and the right settings, are not as sharp as mine, and when I then watch their technique, I often see these mistakes:

  1. People jam down on the shutter. I hear a beep, and a millisecond later, the click. This means the shooter is not giving himself or herself enough time to verify that focus was achieved on the right object. Instead, you should aim, press half way down, wait for the beep, then wait, and only once you have ensured the focus point activated properly where you wanted it, push down.
  2. The shooter leaves the beep off. This means no confirmation of focus unless you look away from the subject… bad.
  3. The shooter beeps and waits correctly – but then moves forward or backward before pushing down. Even a slight backward or forward movement shifts focus!

Watch yourself carefully when you shoot. If you discover that you are making any of the above mistakes, this will affect your sharp focus.

And that would be a shame. My people deserve sharp focus!

3 thoughts on “Another tip

  1. Shy subjects do not like the beep. They are not fond of the noise the mirror and shutter make either. I have all the sounds turned off. Focus lights the square where focus is achieved, I rely on that instead and since I am already looking through the viewfinder, it is easy to see, it also confirms focus is where I want it to be.

    Another tip is to adjust the diopter so the little squares/lines/text in the viewfinder is sharp. When the viewfinder is adjusted for your eye, you will have a better idea what is in focus and what is not.

    • Indeed, sometimes you turn off the beep – like during a wedding ceremony. Focus lights the square – I hope you are using one square only. On many cameras, however, the only good indication is the little green dot.

      Most certainly, the diopter needs to be set right so you see a sharp image (use the green letters below to verify).

  2. I had turned the sound off because I felt it was intrusive, but I can see your point. Will try to do it both ways. Am really enjoying your Blog – especially the 3-4 lines lead that takes one to the main article. You can pack more stories on one page. I will see whether Blogspot allows this technique.

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