Based on my tutors comments and my lack of sharpness in images before I tackle some of his other comments this is an ongoing problem of mine and I intend to get to the bottom of it. http://vimeo.com/23999790 I have started with some of Kelbys tutorials on line with getting images sharper. First step if possible use a tripod as was possible with assignment four. Step two use the timer or cable release do not touch the camera. You may not notice the difference on the back of your camera screen or on your computer but you will when you enlarge your images. Steps as above and then compose your shot and then lift up mirror if you want really sharp images as the mirror movement can create slight movement in your shot. The next two are relevant to myself and the mistakes I have been making. Step one if you have image stabiliser on your lens switch it off he says that there are tiny motors designed to remove any movement however you can lose quality. Next step if you need to increase the ISO then you lose quality so put your camera on a tripod. He also suggests keeping your camera at its optimal aperture which each camera has he suggests this is usually two stops less than the maximum aperture but to play around with my camera to try it so this is the next thing I will do stop using a minimum aperture and trying to be too artistic. Perhaps learn to walk before running. As I am not so advanced I would expect the best thing for me to do is to use a situation where there is plenty of light my tutor has suggested keeping away from indoor and studio light and moving outside and that I can include daylight evening light etc for variation. I will keep with a subject where I can control the situation and keep the camera on a tripod. I intend to reshoot my shots of assigment 4 I have just been to the market and bought some fruit a simpler subject as it has good texture is interesting and good colour and I will try with this first. I have just download Scott Kelby the digital photography book part 1. So here is the outcome. Chapter 1 sharp images Also Scott Kelby CS4 Chapter 12 Look Sharp Sharpening Images. Step one Kelby advises that he has never seen a digital image that he did not feel needed a little sharpening and so after colour correction do the following. Select around 50% magnification. Go to filter menu and choose unsharp mask. The unsharp mask dialog appears with three sliders 1. the amount slider determines the amount of sharpening applied to the photo. 2. The radius slider determines how many pixels out from the edge the sharpening will affect. 3. the the threshold slider determines how different a pixel must be from the surrounding area before its considered an edge pixel and sharpened by the filter. We have tested a sample which is amount 120% radius 1 and treshold 3. Wow I can see a difference. The next advise is for soft objects such as flowers puppies or people. Its a subtle application which is amount 150% radius 1 and threshold 10. Within the book Kelby gives us his favourite settings and also the opportunity to select our own. I can also save my favourite setting and apply it to a batch of images. Next step also immediately after applying the unsharpen mask go to edit fade, if you have applied too much sharpen you can reduce it here or select instead of normal luminosity and this will apply sharpening only to the luninosity or detail areas of your photo and avoids spots and halos from over use of sharpening. The digital Photography book 1 Scott Kelby. Put camera on Adobe RGB if your printing yourself the quality is better than sRGB if your not printing yourself than most printing places are set up for sRGB but check with your printer. Chapter 1 Pro tips on getting really sharp photos. “If your photos aren’t sharp then the rest doesn’t matter” Ok so this is my problem and lets see how I can deal with it. tripod, cable release, mirror lift up on canon you can hold down first let camera focus keep button half way down and then shoot. Image stabilizer should only be used in low light that is difficult to hand hold . If you are on a tripod then no as it will go looking for shake and this will create some. Shoot your lens sharpest aperture most cameras it is 2 stops smaller than wide open. in my case around f8 or 11. In order to check this look at what images you get your sharpest results from and this is the answer. A good lens. keep ISO low where possible. if you cant use a tripod set your camera to shutter speed priority. choose a speed that matches or exceeds the focal length of your lens. ie a 180mm lens youll shoot at a 1/200 of a second. zoom in on the back of your camera screen to see if its sharp. sharp shots in photoshop as above. Note when resizing for web ppi 72 use amount 85% radius 1 and threshold 4 So for blog resize before loading up if you want the image smaller and then re-sharpen again as you lose quality when you make smaller. NB anytime your hand holding a camera in anything but bright daylight then you risk getting a sharp image if this is the case use continuous shooting so that chances are one of them will be sharp. Use your camera strap to try and keep you arms tight to avoid shake or lean against a wall. Next step to put it to the test. Form shows the shape and not the texture. I also liked this explanation of form I found on the http://www.digital-photo-secrets.com Form is like shape, but instead of being concerned only with outline it is also concerned with the subtle shading that makes an object appear three dimensional. This image is taken at f16 @ 1/125 in bright outdoor light coming in from behind and to the side on a tripod with a cable release at ISO 320. I found it difficult as I have changed camera now to the 5d and was using a zoom lens of 24 to 105 I had to pull away a little to get focus. With my 50mm on my 400d I found I could get closer however at 50% and following Kelbys sharpening advise this is what I got having taken many shots. If I zoom in 100% however I find it loses still its sharpness. Next project I would like to try a larger subject in bright light and that I am not limited by the lens in this case. The light coming in from the side is showing form which is also helped by the shadow. Form or 3 dimensionality is shown here by using the shadow. To the left of the fruit we can see it is darker than to the right and this also gives a sense of its roundness. Next I aim to show with a strawberry light coming towards the camera which gives texture. So as my lens is a zoom 24 to 105 I have had to step back form this subject a macro lens would have allowed me or my 50mm to get a bit closer. I have then zoomed and cropped. I can see some clippings in the highlights which I will work on however I had confused side light giving form with texture I can now see that it is light coming towards the camera which gives this texture. Here is the original shot. I have also now set up my adobe bridge so as to see each of my images in 100% zoom in on preview having got these tips from my Kelby CS4 book. I now see really how many of my shots were not sharp. I have noticed some were improved with a little photoshop however some were beyond recovery. I feel although it would be difficult taking pictures of people a tripod outdoor light for now and getting closer with a smaller aperture could have improved some of my travel shots. Next step to see if I can manage this without annoying anyone with my camera. Rim light showing shape outline. The next issue I need to tackle is the printing process. Why am I printing images and the quality is worse than what I have on my screen when the images I am printing are no larger than my computer screen. So far I already calibrate my screen and this has helped. So thinking about sharpness and my assignment 5 which I have had to submit because I have run out of time I have tried to take a travel shot. I have used my tripod. I used f8 which seems to be an optimal aperture at 1/125 to stop any movement. ISO 500. I have then used my raw file and followed Kelbys process of sharpening using 120, 3 and threshold 1. See results below PS the mans amusement is me and why I have been here for 5 minutes photographing his fish swimming, then on the Bar B Q and finally him while he chops fish I guess he thinks tourists are all a bit mad. See also Cambridge in Colour tutorials which may also affect Sharpness, depth of field, Hyperfocal length. http://wp.me/p2dUJz-vK
Sharpness research after assignment 4.