Advice on taking sharper image


mrwangkai

New Member
May 27, 2010
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#1
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!
 

Dream Merchant

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Staff member
Jan 11, 2007
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#2
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!
 

ovaltinemilo

Senior Member
Sep 12, 2009
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#5
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?:D
*Just trying to find out your problem...*
 

Last edited:
Feb 9, 2010
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#7
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.
 

mrwangkai

New Member
May 27, 2010
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#8
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. :)
 

Apr 6, 2010
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#10
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...
 

mrwangkai

New Member
May 27, 2010
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#11
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?
 

Shahrie

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Jan 1, 2010
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#12
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. ;)
 

ed9119

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Mar 11, 2002
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#13
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 !
 

mrwangkai

New Member
May 27, 2010
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#14
Good words.

Will definitely work to improve. :)
 

pokiemon

Senior Member
Mar 5, 2005
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#15
there's nothing wrong with the sharpness. just keep practising shooting.
 

evilorgi

Senior Member
Nov 9, 2007
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#16
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"...
 

DrSpock

New Member
Mar 12, 2009
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#17
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...;)
 

mrwangkai

New Member
May 27, 2010
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#18
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?
 

wildcat

Senior Member
Sep 8, 2004
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#19
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 :sweatsm:
 

tetrflare

New Member
Apr 13, 2007
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#20
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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