Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Getting Sharp Images...Or Not!

One thing many horse photographers struggle with is getting their photos sharp.
Horses in action can be a real challenge to get sharp. Here are some common reasons your photos may not be sharp:
• Shutter Speed
For any kind of motion shooting set your camera to shutter priority and keep your shutter speed at 500 or faster.
• Camera Shake
When shooting horses with the long lenses it can be hard to keep the camera steady. I highly recommend using a monopod, this will increase your percentage of sharp photos.
• Aperture
Shooting at an aperture of 2.8 is great for some situations but your focus must be right on or you will have softness issues. The higher your depth of field the more will be in focus.
• Lens issues
Lenses will go soft or not focus properly when they have been banged around. Invest in the best lenses you can afford! Some consumer grade lenses are just not all that sharp.
• Focus Points
Make sure your camera is focusing on the right area. Read your manual and figure out how to use the focusing system for your camera. Many times photos will be "back focussed": your background will be in perfect focus, your subject is soft. This is usually due to the focus points not being where the subject is.

Now you know how to get a sharp photo (hopefully) it is also fun to play with slow shutter speeds and pan some action, or create motion blur...

This year I will be trying to post tips and tricks to my blog on a regular basis. I will also be offering private online/telephone/in person mentoring and portfolio review services to amateur and beginning pro photographers. If you are interested in this or have something you would like to see addressed feel free to drop me an email at

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