Getting Sharper Photos

I’m sure we’ve all experienced focusing problems.

You know – you have an otherwise pretty good shot, but the subject is just ever so slightly out of focus.

And the toughest part is that you often don’t notice the focus problem until you’re back home, checking your photos out on your computer screen!

No amount of sharpening in Photoshop is going to save an out-of-focus photo, either. That means it’s imperative to get it right in-camera.

The question is, what are the best ways of getting tack-sharp photos?

We provide the answer to that very question in this post.


Single Shot Autofocus vs Continuous Autofocus

Single shot autofocus is typically the default setting on most cameras and is the most common way to focus for most shots.

It gets its name because the camera focuses and maintains that focus for one shot, which is how most of us shoot most of the time for things like portraits, landscapes, and other still subjects.

Using single shot autofocus is extremely easy, too.

Just depress the shutter button halfway, which instructs the camera to focus.

The camera will maintain focus on the subject until you either take the shot by pressing the shutter button all the way or you release the shutter button altogether.

The problem, of course, is that to lock that focus, you must keep the shutter button depressed halfway, and that can be tricky at first.

You’ll likely end up with a few “oops” shots from accidentally pressing the shutter button all the way. Likewise, you’ll probably find that you accidentally release it sometimes, too, meaning you have to start the process over again.

But, once you get the hang of it, you can use single shot autofocus to acquire focus on your subject (say, the eyes of a person in a portrait), lock that focus, and recompose the shot.

For example, in a portrait, your initial framing might have the model in the middle of the shot while you’re locking focus on their eyes.

But once you depress the shutter button halfway, you can then recompose the photo for a more pleasing look, but still maintain focus on the original target. This is called the focus and recompose technique, and you can see it in action in the video above by Matt Granger.