Avoiding Blurred Photographs

Blurred photographs can indeed possess a certain artistic quality that pinsharp photos might not match. But when it comes to the family album, I think most of us prefer the images of our relatives to be as sharp as possible.

The most common reason for blurred photographs is that that camera is not held properly. It is very important to hold the camera still, preferably with both hands. Make sure to keep your fingers away from the front of the camera. Stand steady on both feet and concentrate on taking the shot. If talking or walking at the same time as you photograph, you are very likely to end up with blurry images.

There are many gadgets you can use to support the camera. For smaller cameras a bean bag or a mini tripod might be sufficient. For bigger cameras such as SLR cameras with exchangeable lenses, a bigger tripod is needed. The bigger the camera you have, the bigger the tripod you need. A heavy tripod is steadier than a light weight one and it can be well worth to carry around an extra kilo to get sharper shots.

Sometimes blurred images occur because there is too little light available. Depending on what kind of camera you are using there are different ways to deal with this problem. Most cameras have built-in flashes which can be used to illuminate a scene. But remember that a built-in flash seldom reaches further than at the most four to five meters. Anything beyond the reach of the flash will be pitch dark. Some cameras have hotshoe adaptors where you can fit an external flashgun. These kinds of flashguns are much more powerful than the small built-in ones and can be as powerful as to reach up to 50 meters.

Another way of dealing with the problem of blurred images caused by lack of sufficient light is to make the image capturing part of the camera more light sensitive. If you use a camera that takes film you will need to buy a film with a high ISO rating such as 400 ISO, 800 ISO or even higher. You will probably need to go to a specialist shop to get hold of films with higher ISO than 400. On digital cameras, all you need to do is to change the ISO setting to the number you require. But a note of warning, though you will be able to get images even in very dark conditions with a high ISO setting, your images will become very grainy. Try to avoid using a higher ISO setting than 400.

Some cameras allow you to change the aperture, the size of the hole that lets light into the camera house. If you have such a camera you can opt to open up the aperture to a low f-number (f = aperture) to let more light into the camera. The effect will be an image with shallow depth of field, less things in the image will be in focus. So if you choose to use this method, make sure to focus on the most important bit of the scene such as the eyes if you are photographing a person.