9 Reasons Behind Your Unsharp Photos


You buy a new camera in the hope of capturing great pics but generally end up disappointed, since your photos not only are nowhere perfect but also turn up blurry and unsharp. You can prevent out of focus snaps if you know the reason why. 

Reasons for unsharp photos

#1 Low-quality lens

If you expect quality shots from a cheap camera, think again. Since the lens quality contributes towards the sharpness of the picture, it is a good idea to go in for an expensive camera with a quality lens. If you continue to get blurred pics, you need to get the lens checked, it may be defective.

#2 Dirty lens

The most common reason oft-encountered is not checking the camera lens for dust or stains. Always check the lens before use and clean it only with an optical lens cleaner, such as a Lenspen. Don’t use anything else for cleaning, as you may end up scratching or damaging the lens.

#3 Correct position

Maintaining a correct body position while shooting is vital to steady the camera. The best way is to put one leg in the front, as in stepping forward. This will help you stand still and allow you to move your upper body left-to-right and back-to-front. While holding the camera with your right hand and supporting the lens with the left, steady yourself by keeping your elbows close to your body. Use viewfinder, instead of the screen, and use your face as additional support for steadying the camera. Learn to click in between your breaths.  

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#4 Steady hold

You need to have a steady grip on the camera while shooting so that the camera doesn’t shake. More so, if you have selected slow shutter speed in low light situations, where you don’t use a flash. If you are using a telephoto lens, a millimeter of hand motion can make a difference of a meter on the objects in the frame. To steady the shot, you can either raise the ISO or use the stabilizer, if provided in the camera.

#5 Use tripod or monopod

A tripod or monopod is one of the best options for avoiding camera shake. It also comes in handy if you cannot use a faster shutter speed due to poor lighting conditions. You need to turn off the image stabilizer of your camera while using a tripod or monopod, as it may spoil the picture. Also, you need to be careful in pressing the shutter down, so as not to shake the camera. Do so gently or use a cable release.

#6 Action photography

You may hold your camera most steadily, but your action shots of a fast-moving subject will usually come out blurred. So, for shooting action photos, such as a sports event, select a fast shutter speed. One of the best techniques is to ‘pan’ the subject, that is, follow the moving subject with your camera. This will bring the subject into focus, leaving the background blurred, indicating speed.

#7 Width of the aperture

The size of the aperture directly influences the depth of field, that is, the distance between objects on the photo that are reflected sharp. For example, shooting at a range of four to five meters will provide maximum sharpness, while closer to this will blur the image. The degree of this effect depends upon the aperture.

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#8 Depth of field

If your depth of field is large, your subject will be that much less in focus. Low depth of field will provide an impressive optical separation of people from their blurred background that you want. However, the problem arises while photographing groups. This requires giving up on fast lenses.

#9 Autofocus

For those who suffer from bad eyesight or wear glasses, it is best to use autofocus that almost all modern-day cameras are provided with. If it’s raining outside wear a rain jacket. You can also use a diopter, a wheel-like tool, that helps in focusing your eyesight and in adjusting the sharpness of an image.


The points mentioned above will help you in getting sharp pictures. But, if you want to go deep into the remedying the blurred images, read various photography articles on the subject. As a thumb rule, learn to shoot slow to get a sharper picture. Also, make it a habit to investigate if the shot turns out blurred. This will help in avoiding future mistakes.