September 7, 2019
When I first started out, like I’m sure most of us did… I was obsessed with getting the sharpest of sharp photos. I would zoom in every single picture in Lightroom and if I couldn’t count the eyelashes on my subject, I was disappointed.
Does that sound familiar?
So over the years, I became obsessed with getting every single photo as sharp as possible.. and though I have about 20 tips.. I am going to share the three easiest ones you can apply to your next session!!
FAST SHUTTER SPEED
I know, this seems obvious, but its super important!!! The faster your shutter speed, the higher chance you will capture the moment quickly without the worry of camera shake or your subject moving! I have a simple rule that I give to myself.. and thats never ever upon any circumstances go below 1/250.
I thrive off of simplicity, so having this one rule has helped me from having to think about tripling the focal length.. doubling the focal length.. or all the other rules that are in Photography Land.
If I notice that my shutter speed is 1/250, but I need to lower to let more light in…instead of breaking my rule, I will increase my ISO to compensate. Thankfully, ISO doesn’t have as MUCH as an impact as a slow shutter will. Which leads me to my next tip!
Yes, this is another no brainer if you understand manual mode.. but having a high ISO not only will give you grain, but it also lowers the overall quality of your image!
So I also strive to have my ISO as low as it can possibly go in order for me to get correct exposure!
My simple rule for ISO is to never go over ISO 1600. This is my breaking point on my full frame Nikon D750. When I went to ISO 3200 I noticed my images were a little softer, less quality.
So.. test out your own camera’s capabilities! Do some test shots to see when you notice the image quality suffering!
Every camera is different and its always good to know!
*My Nikon D850 doesn’t lose quality until ISO 6400 which is insane!*
Now THIS is a big one.. and as embarrassing as it is to admit.. it’s one that I didn’t learn about until YEARS into my business!
And that’s focus modes!
There are TWO modes in your camera that will help you achieve the best focus for both STILL subjects and MOVING subjects! And you’re going to want to switch between these two modes based upon what you are shooting!
AF- S (Nikon) or One Shot (Canon)
This focus mode is for when your subject is STILL. Like when you are shooting portraits, landscape, bridal details, or family formals. Once you get your manual mode settings correct, and your exposure looks good- double check your focus mode to make sure its on the right one for your subject! It will help nail that focus!
AF-C (Nikon) or Ai Servo (Canon)
This focus mode is for when your subject is MOVING. This setting is SUPER duper important to switch to if you have moving subjects like sports, kiddos, and receptions!! Basically anytime your subject moving! Because of how I shoot and pose, my focus mode is on AF-C about 90% of the time! And it helps SO MUCH!
So here is the easy cliff notes version…
- Keep your shutter speed as FAST as you can, and never go below 1/250!
- Keep your ISO as LOW as you can, and never go above ISO 1600!
- Make sure you switch focus modes depending on what you are shooting!
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