Top ten Mistakes That Cause Blurry Pictures (And How to Fix Them)

Top 10 Mistakes That Cause Blurry Images (And How to Fix Them)

top 10 mistakes that cause blurry pictures

“Why are the pictures blurry? ”

It’s a common question, and one that doesn’t have an easy answer. The truth is that fuzzy pictures are caused by many factors – so if your photos are blurry, it’s usually difficult to pinpoint the exact issue.

That’s precisely why I wrote this article. I am going to list the 10 main reasons why you’re finding yourself with blurry photos. I want you to carefully go through this particular list. See if any of the factors stand out.

And then make the necessary changes!

Odds are, whenever you can address the problem, you’ll become taking tack-sharp images very quickly at all.

Let’s dive right in, beginning with the biggest reason why your photos are blurry:

1 . Your shutter swiftness is too slow

A too-slow shutter speed is the number one culprit of blurry photos.

You might think you can hold flawlessly still for half a second, but I assure a person there are very few people in the world who can.

In fact , most folks can only handhold a camera right down to the 1/160s to 1/80s range (though this can fluctuate, depending on the focal length of the lens, as well as the size, the zoom lens technology, and the level of magnification).

When handholding your camera, remember this particular rule of thumb to avoid blur caused by camera shake:

Your shutter speed should be the reciprocal of your lens’s central length.

When you’re using a 60mm lens, your shutter speed should be 1/60s or faster. Using a 200mm lens, use a minimum of 1/200s. With a 400mm lens, use at least 1/400s.

(The longer your lens length, the more camera shake is magnified, so telephoto lenses need much faster shutter speeds. )

sharp pelican without blur
Using a 400mm lens, I selected a shutter speed of 1/400s to reduce the possibility of camera shake.

Several lenses and cameras have got image stabilization technology constructed into them. Now, image leveling usually allows you to slow your minimum shutter speed by around 3-5 stops, so that you can handhold a 60mm lens past the 1/8s range. However, you should always be cautious and consider extra shots just to be certain.

What is your minimum shutter speed?

In addition to the reciprocal guideline, it’s important to know your very own minimum shutter speed.

You see, all of us shake a little, but some of us shake more than others. So it’s good to know on what point camera move becomes an issue for you.

Try this exercise:

Place your camera in Shutter Priority setting and have a photo at 1/500s. Then lower your shutter speed and take another image. Save this going until you head right down to 1s or so, then pull up the images on your pc. Ask yourself: When does the blur become a problem? Individually, I rarely go below 1/125s if I’m handholding my camera.

2 . Not using a tripod

sharp arches with proper depth of field

Should you be experiencing camera shake and you can’t use a faster shutter speed (due to low-light conditions), or you don’t want to use a faster shutter speed (because you’re purposely endeavoring to blur something in the frame), then you need to steady your camera another way.

And I highly recommend using a tripod . It’ll keep your camera completely regular even as you dial in exposures of one second or even longer. If a tripod is actually inconvenient, consider a monopod, which is a more compact, flexible option.

Also, when you use a tripod, image stabilization is not really necessary and may even end up being counterproductive, so it’s a good idea to get in the habit of switching any IS off whenever you put your camera on the tripod.

a few. Bad camera-holding technique

For the best stability, practice the official photographer position:

Stand along with your feet slightly apart, 1 staggered forward, and strongly planted to stabilize the body right to left and back to front. Support the digital camera with your left hand simply by holding the lens from underneath, and use your correct hand to grab the grip and gently press the shutter button. Tuck your own elbows tight to your upper body and use the viewfinder rather than the Live View screen (holding the camera to your encounter will help keep it steady).

Some photographers even go so far as to listen to their breathing and heart beat, taking care to fire the photo between breaths and is better than for maximum stability.

photographer handholding camera with technique to prevent blurry photos
Proper technique when handholding your camera.

4. Your aperture is too wide

The size of the aperture determines the depth of field , which is how much of the image is in focus. And this has a direct effect on the clarity of your photo.

When a lens finds concentrate, it locks onto a particular distance known as the plane of focus. So if you focus in, say, 15 feet, everything 15 feet away from the particular camera will have maximum clarity, and anything in front of or behind that plane will begin to blur. The strength of this obnubilate effect – that is, the speed at which sharpness falls off – depends on the aperture.

If you use a wide aperture such as f/2. 8, the particular depth of field will be very shallow. This effect is magnified by longer focal-length lenses. So if you utilize a telephoto lens and the aperture is f/2. 8, there may be only a razor-thin sliver of the image that is in razor-sharp focus. But if you use a small aperture such as f/11 or f/18, the depth of field will be larger. A lot of image will be sharp.

desert landscape
Using an aperture of f/20, everything is sharp from foreground to background.

Choosing the right aperture depends on the type of picture you want to create. But if you happen to be trying to get everything in the body as sharp as possible, use a small aperture (produced by a larger f-number such as f/11 or f/22).

Note that a small aperture will let in less light, so you will need to work with a slower shutter speed to pay. See the first problem with this list!

five. Not using autofocus

These days, cameras are sophisticated. So let them do what they are good at! Cameras do a fantastic job of nailing focus, both with nevertheless subjects and subjects in motion.

Is autofocus perfect? No, and later on in this article, I’ll discuss a few times when manual focus is actually helpful. But generally speaking, autofocus is the way to go.

why are my pictures blurry? sharp vulture

6. Not really focusing in the correct location

Even if you are using the perfect handholding method or a rock-solid tripod, if you focus in the wrong location, you’ll end up with blurry images anyway.

Focusing carefully is especially crucial when utilizing a wide aperture (because you will have a razor-thin depth of field! ). A slight mistake in the focus can throw the subject completely out of the focal plane, or give you a subject with perfectly sharp earlobes and blurry eyes.

Photographers often leave their cameras set to an auto AF-area mode – one that tells the camera to decide automatically what section of the picture should be in concentrate. Most of the time, modern cameras are usually pretty good at this, particularly if the topic is prominent in the framework. However , with more complex compositions, the camera can get puzzled and try to focus on the wrong issue. To specify the focal point yourself, switch to a single-point AF-area mode.

When you look through your viewfinder, you should see an array of little dots or squares put over the display, like this:

AF point spread

These are your own focus points, and they explain to you where in the frame the camera can lock concentrate. In single-point AF-area modes, you can use the camera’s path pad to select one of these dots, and the camera will always focus on that point (and that point alone ).

Note that, to inform the camera to focus, you should normally depress the shutter button halfway before pressing it the rest of the way to take the shot. This works pretty well, but cameras can be overly sensitive – if you push too lightly, the button can come unpressed and try to re-focus after you’ve already found your point of focus. In case you press too hard, you might capture the shot before the concentrate is ready. And if a person take multiple pictures in succession, your camera might try to focus again just before each shot. For these reasons, several photographers highly recommend back-button focusing .

7. Using the incorrect autofocus mode

There are three main autofocus modes offered by most digital cameras. You should be switching between these types of modes every time you’re confronted with a new shooting situation; otherwise, you’re bound to miss pictures that you normally could’ve nailed.

Single-shot autofocus, called AF-S or One-Shot AF, is meant to be used along with still subjects.

Continuous autofocus, known as AF-C or AI Servo AF, is designed to track movement through the frame, so it works best when your subject is in movement.

Finally, there is an automatic mode, called AF-A or AI Focus AF. This is likely the arrears setting on your camera. It reads the scene plus determines which of the initial two modes it should use.

cactus flower

eight. Not using manual focus

While I am a big advocate of autofocus, there is one particular time when manual focus comes in helpful:

When your digital camera is on a tripod, and you’re using a wide aperture to achieve a very shallow depth of field.

If you want to make sure the most important thing in your frame is sharp, switch to manual focus. Then use the LCD zoom perform to magnify the screen by 5x or 10x. And make tiny modifications to the focus until you get it just right.

You can even try manual focusing whenever shooting close-up subjects (e. g., a flower petal) or when photographing scenery in the darkness.

9. There’s junk upon or in front of your lens

A big smear on your lens is going to affect the clarity of your image.

And if you put a cheap plastic filter in front of your lens, that’ll weaken image quality, too.

So make sure that your lens is clean. And ensure that all your filters are high quality. If you always shoot using an UV filter and you maintain getting blurry pictures, try taking a few shots with no filter to see if the quality of the glass is negatively affecting your images.

10. Poor lens high quality

Beginners like to blame their blurry pictures on their optics, though a negative lens is rarely the problem.

That said, lens quality can make a difference, and you’ll occasionally discover lenses that are genuinely soft. And some lenses may be razor-sharp in the center but obtain blurry around the corners and edges of the image, or even sharp at certain apertures but slightly fuzzy from others. Every lens has an unique character that may or may not be useful to the type of function you’re doing.

It’s also worth noting that each lens includes a “ sweet spot ” – a particular aperture at which it works best. This is usually in the middle of the aperture range, around f/8 or f/11.

Fixed focal length lenses are usually sharpest, though it’s not always convenient to carry around two or three lenses rather than a solitary, all-purpose zoom.

buildings on the water

Mistakes that cause blurry pictures: final words

Well, that is it:

The 10 most common reasons your pictures are blurry.

If you’ve been struggling with blurry photos, you hopefully now know (or may at least guess) the culprit! And you could make adjustments to get points looking sharp.

Now over to you:

Are your photos blurry? Did a person figure out why? Which of these errors have you been making? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Anne McKinnell

Anne McKinnell

is a photographer, writer plus nomad. She lives in a good RV and travels close to North America photographing beautiful places and writing about travel, photography, and how changing your life is not as scary as it seems.

You can read about the girl adventures on her blog and be sure to check out the girl free picture taking eBooks .

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