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Sharp images #photography #art

I usually go out on the weekend and do landscape photography but my plans didn’t quite work out this week and so for today’s post I have had to look through the archive. My first photo I have converted to grey scale to show what a photo really is, an image made up of light and dark. Sharp images have a sharp difference between light and dark.

New Street West Bromwich


Look at the paving in the foreground, it is more defined and sharper. As we go away from the camera everything gets a little fuzzy. This was shot at f/11, a quite narrow aperture which does give us the depth of field to make the edges on the church look quite sharp.

New street


This is the same shot in colour and the camera, when it focuses, still tries to separate light from dark and that makes the image sharp.

new square

Light and dark

In this image, there are clear lines between light and dark and so even though it isn’t a great shot it looks quite sharp. Patterns in images make them look sharper and more defined. Diagonal lines give an image depth. When there isn’t much definition between light and dark the image can look quite fuzzy and blurred.

sharp images have a sharp difference between light and dark


Man-made structures give us the sharp lines and nature tends to give us the fuzziness. We can get contrasts between light and dark by silhouetting nature against a white sky or a white swan against deep blue water. The white line in the middle of the road in this shot gives us a contrast between light and dark as well as a giving the shot perspective.

Sharp images

I try to get sharp images by looking for patterns and contrasts between light and dark. Often using a single focus point on the line between light and dark will help the camera focus. If you try to use autofocus where there is no difference between light and dark the camera will refuse to focus because it has nothing to focus on.

Finally, I am sometimes asked if a DSLR is complicated to use. No, it is far easier to use than a bridge camera. You can use the scene settings but you also have the option of manually setting aperture, ISO and shutter speed if you want to shoot in difficult conditions.

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