Photography: Preventing blur
Today’s photo isn’t particularly interesting, but there is a lot of detail. You can see the fine branches of the trees and the ripples on the water. The image could have been much sharper, but I managed an interesting effect with a filter. I also kept the camera very still and used quite a fast speed.
Lots of things can move when you’re taking a photograph to make those tiny details blurred. You can sway a little, if your stance isn’t firm enough. So it helps to have your feet apart, perhaps one in front of the other to give you stability. Many small compact cameras only have a rear screen to use as a viewfinder, so too do phones. If you have a viewfinder, then use it. Holding the camera close to the body will make it more stable.
You might be shooting a moving subject that you don’t want to be blurred then you can choose a faster speed or use the camera’s sports setting. Remember too with landscapes that trees move in the wind and birds fly in and out of the picture. This can give you a sense of movement and the blurred images add to the image, but sometimes you want a fast shot that freezes the movement. If the subject is a person walking or a speeding car, then choose the camera speed accordingly.
Speed and aperture
A narrow aperture is better for landscapes, because it gives depth of field, but it allows less light into the camera and so you need a slower speed. That can result in some blur. It’s always a compromise. Increasing the ISO will make the sensor a little more sensitive to light.
For this shot I had to think about moving cars, the wind blowing across the valley and vibration. The vibration is partly compensated by a lens that has VR (vibration reduction). A good stance helps with the cross wind and the cars whizzing past.
If you want the kind of really crisp images that you see in professional photos and on calendars, then you need to hold the camera very still. The way to do this is to use a tripod. You can even trigger the shutter release using remote control. I find it very difficult to use a tripod in most of the locations I go to. I am beginning to plan taking shots and so will be using my tripod more in the future.
We can’t do much about the weather, except try to adjust to it. As I have written this today, we have had wind, rain and snow in England. That was just in the last hour! Pay attention to light, that is what we are capturing; reflected light. We can get interesting images all year around and make them more interesting by using filters and with creative editing.
I’ve only used two images today, I haven’t taken many new ones. I’m waiting for spring and more light. Not long to go now!
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