One of the most important things in photography is getting a good sharp picture, from there you can manipulate the picture to look however you want, however it is nearly impossible to get a good sharp shot out of a blurry picture. By following a few simple tips, you can improve the quality of your pictures regardless of what kind of camera you are using. The key to make the sharpest possible picture is simple, reduce movement in the process, which is what causes blurry shots in the first place. There are a few different types of motion, both on the user end and the camera end, by doing some simple things like using a tripod or finding where your lenses “Sweet Spot” is you can greatly increase the quality of every picture you take.
The first, and most important thing you can do to improve the sharpness of your pictures is to use a tri-pod when taking pictures. While it can be a pain to drag around a tri-pod, you will definitely see the worth in it when you get your pictures back. A tripod can help stop minor camera shakes and help you get sharp pictures in any condition, but especially when you need to slow down your shutter speed.
After you have a tripod in place, you might still get a bit of movement from the camera when you press the shutter button. There are two ways to get around this small movement that may cause your pictures to not be as sharp as possible. The first, and the cheapest method is to use the timer mode on your camera. By hitting it you can have your hand free from the camera as the shutter snaps and only the minimum amount of movement will occur. Another great option is to use a wired shutter release cable, these can be had for almost any DSLR for a few dollars and takes the shutter button off the camera. It doubles great because it lets you get out from behind the camera and interact with your subjects more closely
If you are not able to use a tripod and must hand hold your camera for whatever reason there are some ways around this too. First, see if you can use your tripod as a monopod, or consider purchasing a monopod. While it is not the ideal way, it can help reduce a lot of the motion blurring you may get in your pictures. Another great option is to put your camera in burst-fire mode. When you have 5 or 6 shots, the odds of obtaining a good sharp picture will go up by quite a bit.
Finally there are some camera settings that can help ensure that you get a great picture in your camera every time. The most important thing on your camera settings is that you should be shooting in manual mode if your camera has one. It may take some getting used to, but when you can decide the settings your camera uses you can get a lot more control and considerably better pictures. From there you will want to keep your ISO as low as possible, as high ISO tends to come with noise and generally unsharp shots. In addition to that you will want to learn where the “sweet spot” of your lens is. Typically it is around F/8-f/11, though it varies per lens model, and even from lens to lens. Test out a few of the same shots at every aperture and see what you like best.
So by following these few simple tips to prevent as much motion as you possibly can, you can come out with a good sharp picture every time. Remember that even if you don’t have a tripod on hand or do not have the ability to use in, there are many other ways to keep your pictures sharp. When all else fails, take a bunch of pictures, the more you take the more likely you are to get a good sharp shot.