One of the first pictures I ever made with a DSLR, how to get all sharp?

Started Apr 24, 2014 | Discussions thread
OP Cingen Regular Member • Posts: 168
Re: One of the first pictures I ever made with a DSLR, how to get all sharp?

Mark Scott Abeln wrote:

Cingen wrote:

Hey all!

I got my first DSLR (the Nikon D7100) a few days ago and I am busy trying to find out more about how you can get everything sharp for landscape photography. Today I took this picture on the fly when passing this park (didn't have much time) and I was wondering if anyone has any advice about trying to get as much as possible sharp in landscape photography? I know that composition wise this is absulute crap, but I barely even had time to stand still and take a picture as it was, I am planning to take more time at this location tomorrow to actually spend some time learning.

So my first question is, what do you guys think about the actual sharpness of what is in this picture (ignoring composition), and how can I improve it? I am actually embarassed even posting this here but there is only one way to learn...

Well, there are a couple of things to keep in mind:

First, digital images are inherently not sharp, and sharpness typically must be added to them, either in-camera or on the computer. Film tends to appear to be sharper, for various reasons. Did you use in-camera sharpening?

Your optics might not be all that good — some are sharper than others. Filters placed on lenses can make an image softer, as well as crud on the lens itself. There is a little bit of light ‘bloom’ around the flower blooms — a bit of smearing of brightness around the flowers.

Your aperture setting of f/10 is coming close to the minimum recommended value of f/11 for an APS-C sized sensor like your camera, due to diffraction — but this can be largely overcome by added sharpening.

Your shutter speed of 1/100th of a second might be a bit low — there is risk of camera shake.

I can’t really tell the focus point here, but be aware that mis-focus (which is really easy to do these days with automation and cruddy focus screens) might be a problem here. You might want to do a focus check with this lens and use care in selecting a focus point — often cameras select the closest object to focus on, which is rarely ideal.

Processing the image can also increase softness — for example, rotating the image to straighten it, or using software to remove lens distortions.

High ISO can also make an image look soft.

So the main things I should do is up the shutter speed (or add a tripod) and increase the aperture to 11? I was afraid of bringing the aperture up too high because of all the things I read about difraction...

Also, I just realised this was actually a very bad spot to stand for taking a photograph. This picture had to be taken at 1000ISO to just be able to get a 1/100 shutter speed. I guess this is to blame because I was standing in a heavily shadowed area?

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