Tack sharp…how sharp should it be?
Not blade sharp, but enough to be clear, detailed, defined and, if you’re gunning for the win, impressive. Let’s put it like this: you can almost feel the hairy fur, you can almost run your hand on the texture, you can almost pluck the individual strands of feather on the eagle at right (though you’ll have second thoughts with those piercing eye and menacing beak). A picture will almost always be judged, perceived and understood by its sharpness and clarity. So how do we achieve this? Travel photographer Ariel Bravy lists 33, yes let me repeat that, 33 Techniques for Creating Sharp Images. You may say “that many?” Well, there are many photographic situations and its not likely that your subject is always still like a statue. You or your subject may be in movement, there may be fast action, and you would want to capture it sharp. Bravy got it all covered in his very informative guide, and number one on his list is, obviously, use a tripod. There is also a tip on the list which comes naturally almost like reflex when I shoot without a tripod or something to brace myself – I hold my breath two to three seconds before I press the shutter, to minimize the slightest movement. That’s two and 31 more tips to go. The bottomline and I always say this, your image is your story. You wouldn’t want your image fuzzy, blurry and out of focus unless that is your deliberate concept. You want people to understand your story. So make the effort to take clear images. Keep them pin sharp. (Photo location: Ninoy Aquino Parks & Wildlife, Quezon City)