Q&A: Why are my photos are not as sharp as yours?

Every now and again I have other photographers ask me why are my photos not as sharp as yours?   But I wanted to explore this question a little deeper and see if I could help out some of my friends.  As time allows, I’m going to explore each of these a little more detail on each of these with a Q&A answer post in no particular order.

What do you need to practice and learn? (Incomplete list)

  • Features of your gear
  • Limitations of your gear
  • Decide what you want to shoot
  • Your limitations
  • Basic photography principles
    • Proper technique
    • Depth of Field or DOF
    • White balance
    • Freezing motion
    • Blurring motion (on purpose)
    • Learn to shoot on manual (advanced)
    • What are the photography rules
    • When should you forget the rules
    • Composition
    • Portrait concepts
    • Landscape Concepts
    • Birds in Flight or BIF concepts
    • Creative exposure vs. correct exposure
    • Long exposures
  • Know your subject
  • Know where to stand, sit, climb or lay to capture moments.
  • Know the location
  • Set goals and monitor progress
  • Step back and review your work
  • Practice, practice, practice
  • Look for new challenges and for areas for growth
  • Go back repeatedly to the same locations and get something unique
  • RAW vs. JPG
  • Post processing skills and software (This used to be considered darkroom skills)

Am I a professional photographer, definitely not.   I take photos because I love capturing moments.  I’m still growing and challenging myself every weekend.  On most topics, I’m not going to go deep into most of the technical aspects of each of these as I go through these, I would refer you to Cambridge in Color’s website for the details.  Instead,  I hope to add some perspective to really to appreciate photography.   Anyone with a camera is a photographer, and an expensive camera has fewer limitations than the less expensive models, but if you want your photography to improve, you have to work on how to use it.

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