Want SHARPER Photos in the CAMERA? Here’s How (VIDEO)

All photographers strive to create photos with accurate focus, and most of us prefer to get things right in the camera. This saves time during the editing process, and helps avoid the temptation to take things too far—ending up with an unsightly, “crispy” effect.

The tutorial below from one of our favorite landscape photographers explains how to maximize sharpness in the field. You’ll learn how to solve common problems, the key camera settings to use, a number of shooting techniques, and how to determine if your gear is the culprit.

Instructor Mads Peter Iversen is an accomplished Danish pro, with a unique minimalist style that requires him to nail focus on the main subject of every shot. In this episode he shares “a ton of techniques” for attaining fast and precise focus regardless of the type of outdoor images you shoot.

Iversen begins with this: “It’s important to make a distinction between whether something is in focus, or whether it’s unsharp because something is moving.” Then he notes two basic principles, which include selecting the wrong lens aperture and insufficient depth of field.

He also explains that some lenses are inherently unsharp, in which case it’s time to pull out your wallet. The discussion then moves on to practical matters beginning with how lens aperture affects sharpness and determines the range of focus. In this regard you’ll learn about “lens diffraction” and why Iversen always stops down by at least two f/stops below the minimum aperture on a lens.

Telephoto lenses can be a problem without proper support, and Iversen provides several helpful tips for shooting handheld and using a tripod to maximum advantage. There’s also a helpful discussion of choosing the proper shutter speed for the task at hand, and how this setting interacts with image stabilization.

Iversen discusses how lenses of different focal lengths factor into the equation, and he reveals a few common technical miscues and how to solve them. He wraps up the video with a question: “How important is sharpness?”

If landscape photography is your thing, be sure to visit Iversen’s instructional YouTube channel where you’ll find a wide variety of tips and tricks.

And don’t miss another landscape photography tutorial we posted, explaining how to eliminate lens flare or use it to create a unique effect.