Whether you shoot landscapes, wildlife, sports, or just about any other type of photos, if you miss focus you’ve pretty much botched the job. That’s because unsharp results are one of the most common ways to spoil an otherwise great scene.
Fortunately, one of our favorite photographers comes to the rescue today by explaining how to achieve precise focus in any situation with whatever camera you use. Joel Grimes got his start shooting landscapes, but he’s been a professional commercial photographer for over 30 years.
Grimes also has a passion for helping others achieve optimum results, and he does exactly that in the tutorial below by explaining how he achieves tack sharp results virtually every time.
While Grimes says soft images are usually not the result of one’s gear, he begins the episode with a brief discussion of the interplay between a camera and lens. And one of his tips in this regard is finding the “sweet spot” of a lens. As he explains, that’s usually 2-3 stops from wide open.
Grimes then moves on to more prevalent causes of soft images, repeating the advice he received from his first photography instructor as a 19-year-old student: ”The single greatest degradation of image quality is camera shake.” And even with the advanced image-stabilization technology in today’s modern cameras and lenses, vibration can still be a culprit at slower shutter speeds with improper technique.
The video also includes a discussion of key camera settings and, as you might suspect, the importance of using a sturdy tripod whenever possible. If you have to shoot hand-held, you can improve your percentage of keepers by doing things right.
Grimes provides a number of other helpful tips, and he demonstrates an interesting trick for determining if your tripod is as stable as necessary.
There’s more great advice on Grimes’ YouTube channel and in another tutorial we posted recently, explaining how to make beautiful landscape photos of barren winter scenes.