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Thread: Advice on taking sharper image

  1. #1

    Default Advice on taking sharper image

    This has been a problem for me since day 1.

    I could take okay pictures but always seem to fail at grabbing something with good clarity and sharpness. Often times the pictures just look a little bit fuzzy or grained (w/ or w/o ISO 800 or more).

    For example, I really enjoy Renez's pictures - they all have a calm, clean, non-fuzzy, sharp properties to them.

    Whereas mine just doesn't quite hit the spot. Example:



    I hope someone knows what I'm trying to express. I don't want to use contrast and saturation to add mood to my pictures.

    Please feel free to give me some advice on what I should try. I'm using a D90 and normally the 18-200mm 3.5.

    Thanks!
    D90 | Kai

  2. #2

    Default Re: Advice on taking sharper image

    Your photo looks sharp.

    Shouldn't compare directly to Renez's photos - different subjects, different angles, different light quantity and quality, different locations, different post processing ...

    If you want to replicate his work, study very carefully the way he looks at light and how he uses light, shadow and angles, then learn his post-processing techniques. Look for similar subjects, in similar light, at a similar time of day, from similar angles, then shoot.

    That's how a lot of people learn - first by duplicating the work of someone they admire. Then stick with it, refine it, or go off and develop one's own style.

    CHEERS!

  3. #3
    Senior Member sinned79's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on taking sharper image

    your photo is very sharp already.

  4. #4
    Senior Member ovaltinemilo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on taking sharper image

    Do pardon me that I don't really see anything tt's nt sharp...
    ...:::..::.Nikon.::.:::..
    RGB Metering & Focusing.

  5. #5
    Senior Member ovaltinemilo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on taking sharper image

    you say you compared your photos to Renez's pictures...do you mean those photos that are of thinner dof? You view them as sharper because their background is blurred and the front subject is sharp?
    *Just trying to find out your problem...*
    Last edited by ovaltinemilo; 15th June 2010 at 10:35 PM.
    ...:::..::.Nikon.::.:::..
    RGB Metering & Focusing.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Advice on taking sharper image

    Anyway the photographs you are seeing from Flickr are (squeezed) smaller therefore the amount of pixel per unit area (density) would be higher thus a sharper photograph. You could also sharpen your photograph in Photoshop.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Advice on taking sharper image

    It looks sharp enough. overly pp for sharpness may have more noise.

    Download photoscape. its free and fairly easy to use with sharpness, brightness, contrast, color curves etc.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Advice on taking sharper image

    Yea, I believe it's probably a problem w/ technique.

    I'm not really looking to replicate his (or her I believe) work, I just really enjoy the clean-cut feeling of her pictures. Not only the bokeh ones, just in general I guess.

    Thanks for your sharing though. (:
    D90 | Kai

  9. #9

    Default Re: Advice on taking sharper image

    Looks ok on my phone
    D7000. AF-S 18-105

  10. #10

    Default Re: Advice on taking sharper image

    Quote Originally Posted by mrwangkai View Post
    This has been a problem for me since day 1.

    I could take okay pictures but always seem to fail at grabbing something with good clarity and sharpness. Often times the pictures just look a little bit fuzzy or grained (w/ or w/o ISO 800 or more).

    For example, I really enjoy Renez's pictures - they all have a calm, clean, non-fuzzy, sharp properties to them.



    I hope someone knows what I'm trying to express. I don't want to use contrast and saturation to add mood to my pictures.

    Please feel free to give me some advice on what I should try. I'm using a D90 and normally the 18-200mm 3.5.

    Thanks!
    IMO, like the others said, rather sharp already. And you're using the 18-200, not known to be the sharpest lens around. Even my friend's complaining. For starters, shoot at the sharpest aperture..normally 1~2 stops from wide open.

    And why don't you want to use contrast to the picture? As i see from renez pictures they all look curve processed to be, or very good lens with good contrast. Afterall sharpening with processes like unsharp mask in photoshop utilizes adjusting the micro-contrast between pixels to make things look sharp. If not over done, I believe it's a necessary evil for digital photography. Esp with a 18-200...

  11. #11

    Default Re: Advice on taking sharper image

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan Ang View Post
    IMO, like the others said, rather sharp already. And you're using the 18-200, not known to be the sharpest lens around. Even my friend's complaining. For starters, shoot at the sharpest aperture..normally 1~2 stops from wide open.
    Good to know about the lens' sharpness, did not know that when I bought it. I'd bought it to cover all the range that I'm shooting.

    What lens for Nikon is best for sharpness?

    I think I'm ok with pumping up abit of contrast, but from my experience, while it does make the picture look better, it doesn't look too natural.

    And haven't really tried the sharpness in Photoshop, always get the impression that it adds grain to the picture. No?
    D90 | Kai

  12. #12
    Member Shahrie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on taking sharper image

    I must say Renez has the "eye" in photography. Not easy to replicate her works. I understand when u meant her photos are calming and soothing to the eyes. When I saw ur pic, it does has some feel to it butssss ... not quite there yet, in terms of mood. Maybe you can try and play around with different exposures or take the same pic at different time of the day. I can see your pic is bit overexposed around the pillars area. Whereas comparing to Renez photos, they all have lot of details. Even her clouds has lots of details in it.

    Im not an expert but your thread has given me something to ponder about creating mood in photos. I thank you for that. Wish you all the best in ur photography journey likewise mine. We all have a lot to learnt from each other.

  13. #13
    Moderator ed9119's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on taking sharper image

    Quote Originally Posted by Shahrie View Post
    I understand when u meant her photos are calming and soothing to the eyes. When I saw ur pic, it does has some feel to it butssss ... not quite there yet,...
    harsh blownout whites are not calming nor soothing to the eyes

    as many have said , the issue is not in sharpness ..... the image is sharp already.... more with controlling the light and maybe composition .... shoot more and trial/error with attention to

    - different lighting situations/environments
    - using a metering mode that works for you
    - aperture settings
    - and composing of your images

    good luck !
    shaddap and just shoot .... up close
    Walkeast

  14. #14

    Default Re: Advice on taking sharper image

    Good words.

    Will definitely work to improve. (:
    D90 | Kai

  15. #15

    Default Re: Advice on taking sharper image

    there's nothing wrong with the sharpness. just keep practising shooting.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Advice on taking sharper image

    seriously, unless my screen is spoilt, if not i dont think there is any problem with the sharpness in your pic here... perhaps you lack some "feel"...

  17. #17
    Member DrSpock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on taking sharper image

    Hmm... I'm trying to get a 'Feel' to your photo as I'm probing hard into my human side...

    I feel too many things in the photo so maybe you can try to chop the photos into many pieces see which piece you like...
    Photography? It's all in your mind...

  18. #18

    Default Re: Advice on taking sharper image

    Yes, looks like it's more up to the technique (finding the right 'feel') over sharpness of lens/body now.

    For this picture I'm just trying to catch the old-schoolness of the place. I feel like I need to capture the whole thing.

    Just wondering, how else would you guys have captured it?
    D90 | Kai

  19. #19
    Senior Member wildcat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on taking sharper image

    Quote Originally Posted by mrwangkai View Post
    Yes, looks like it's more up to the technique (finding the right 'feel') over sharpness of lens/body now.

    For this picture I'm just trying to catch the old-schoolness of the place. I feel like I need to capture the whole thing.

    Just wondering, how else would you guys have captured it?
    I'm normally quite bad in my composition one so I should be the last person you should ask, but like all things, without making errors and having friends correcting it, one will never improve so... here goes.

    1. I find the barrel interesting. Couple that with the patterned floor and three shades of light on that portion of the floor, maybe something.

    2. The lamps are interesting. So are the patterns on the ceiling.

    3. Simplify simplify simplify. You are probably having the same problem as me; we like to put too many things into one picture. The problem with this is that it ends up too cluttered with too many things drawing the viewers attention everywhere. Focus is the key.

    Barrel, lamps, nice interesting patterned floor, doors, tables, chairs. All of them like having equal weightage in your photo. What are you drawing your viewer's eyes to?

    Alright, now if anyone else wants to flame me for giving bad advise, I'm all ears coz I also wanna learn

  20. #20

    Default Re: Advice on taking sharper image

    I think Renez photos seems sharp because of the use of depth of field, and this constrast the sharp image on a blurry bg or a plain bg.
    Also, she always focus on single point of interest. Your photo is not lacking, but just artistically, open wide 18mm, go as close and focus on the barrel to cover 1/3 screen and tilt up to cover the lamps, tables, etc.
    I used the 18-200 first, then went to prime and learned composition, then went back to 18-200. I learned that for framing, either go close, or zoom close to the subject. Go to photoshop and crop all the photos you have taken, see how closing in on the subject makes them more impressive. For depth of field on 18-200, take at 200 even for close up helps usually.
    Throw aside your tripod, open your aperture wide, up your iso, walk around and take many pictures (D90 is a good camera for high iso, use normal noise reduction and in camera sharpening to save time with pp). Personally I think that is most useful.

    I'm sure many ppl in CS will think otherwise, but hope my POV is useful still.

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