How To Take SHARPER photos 5 Tips For Instantly Sharper Photos


(knife sliding) – I know this is not the proper
way to sharpen your knives. But this is not a cooking
channel, so I hope you don’t mind. Today I’m going to talk about how to get your images tack sharp. It’s a really important
thing that you are in control to get your images sharp
and to get it sharp at the right place in your composition. But let’s start. (calm music playing) Hi there, I’m Peter Forsgard,
an Olympus Visionary and a professional photographer
from Helsinki, Finland. And before we get into the
today’s topic about how to get your images tack
sharp, please consider to subscribe to my
channel and hit that bell so you get notified when
there is a new video online. Remember that my channel
is all about Olympus gear and about you getting to
be a better photographer. And also, I want to thank every
one of you for being there and watching my videos. It’s a lot nicer to make
these videos when there’s somebody’s actually watching these. So thank you very, very much. But now, let’s get into
the today’s subject. Focusing to the right place, and the right place is the
place that you want to focus, is very, very, important. But of course, you can get really artistic and make images that are
totally out-of-focus. That’s a different thing. But an image that is slightly
out-of-focus is horrible. Don’t do that. And tip number one: use
only one focus point. This way you have the full control where the camera will focus. If you use, let’s say,
all the focus points that are available in your camera, it’s the camera that will decide. And most likely it will
focus to the nearest object, and that’s something
that you might not want. And this comes very important if you use very fast lenses like
the Olympus Lens we call F1.2 Pro Series Lenses which have quite shallow depth of field. Most modern cameras have a very large area where you can move the focusing point. And with all of those cameras you can use the arrow pads to move the focusing point. And with Olympus E-M1X
there is also the joy stick where you can move the focusing point where you want it to be. And then some Olympus
cameras have so-called AF Targeting Pad where
you can use the LCD screen for moving the target
or the AF Target Point. Even though if you’re using the EVF, and that’s a very handy feature, especially with the Pen-F camera, where you have the view finder on the side of the camera not in the middle. It’s a lot easier to
use the AF Targeting Pad with Pen-F because of that, but that’s a very, very
good way of setting your target or your AF
Point to the target. And if you do a lot of portraiture, then I recommend using the Face
Detection or actually called Face Priority and the Eye Priority, that will make sure
that the face or the eye is the one that is really, really sharp. Because usually, that is
what you want in a portrait. Of course, there might be some exceptions, but very seldom you want
anything else than the eye or the closer eye to be really sharp. And tip number two: use
the right focusing mode. There are several different
focusing modes in your camera, and let’s start with the
subjects that are still, that are not moving. Then the best way is to use the Still AF, which is called S-AF in Olympus cameras, and in some cameras I
know it’s called AFS, but it’s the same thing. The way it works is that
you use the shutter button to start the focusing, and
it will lock on your subject. Or, if you are more familiar
using back focus button, then use that, and the camera will lock the focus on the subject. And if the subject moves,
the AF won’t follow, so be very quick if you’re photographing moving subject with the S-AF mode. But it works very well
in general photography. Landscapes, city scapes,
portraits, still-life, whatever. Usually the S-AF is the way to go. And then there is the Continuous AF. It’s a bit different than the S-AF. With the C-AF, it will focus continuously, so if you move the focus target point to another place, it will focus on that. But with the S-AF, it won’t,
so there is a big difference. But this is not the
proper way if the subject is moving in your composition
like a flying bird. Then you need to use C-AF Plus Tracking, and this is the way to
photograph the moving subject. And it will track the subject. Sometimes better, sometimes not that good. But remember, that the E-M1X
also have the so called Subject Recognition AF
that it will recognize airplanes, cars, motorcycles,
or actually helmets, and then of course trains. And that’s another way of making images if using AF Track and that’s
a good way for those subjects. And remember, Olympus has
promised us that it will continue to develop the IA on the camera so it will in the future most likely
recognize more subjects. But for now, it’s also those three. It’s important to understand
what is the difference between C-AF and the C-AF Plus Tracking. Then there is the third option which is the S-AF Plus Manual Focus, And this feature has to be turned on, and it’s only available on E-M1 Mark II with the Firm Ware 3.0 and with the E-M1X. And after you’ve turned it on, you have the possibility to
fine-tune the out-of-focus. Without, if this is turned off, the Focus Ring is just turning, but it won’t affect the focus at all. But if you wanna fine-tune your S-AF, then turn on the feature from the menu. And then there are two others options, the Manual Focus and Pre-Manual Focus, and I will talk about
those later in this video. And tip number three: stop
down a notch, a stop or two. Usually, every lens has a sweet spot, and in most lenses, it’s
not the widest aperture. But when stopping down a bit, you will get the most sharp
results from your lenses. Of course, you can do a
scientific, scientific thing and test your lenses. Photograph a target
with different apertures and test out which aperture
will give you the best result. But speaking of scientific methods, you can also check your
lenses with a special target that is made for to
check out that your lens is actually focusing where it should be. And then, with Olympus cameras, you can actually fine-tune
your focus on your lens. You can add lens data to your camera, and it will recognize the
lens and then it will use the lens data from the
camera to make it focus exactly where it should be. So when, after testing, if you find that there are some mistakes in the focus, then you can set parameters
that will correct your focus on that lens. Actually, I’ve never done that, but that’s one way of being sure that your lenses are okay and are focusing exactly where they should be focusing. And then of course, there is a benefit of stopping down a bit. You will have more depth of field, and the focusing is not that crucial when you’re using, or when
your lens is wide open. Then you have a very, very
shallow depth of field, but increasing the depth of
field makes the photographing, yeah the photographing, makes the focusing a bit easier. So there’s two benefits on that. You will find the sweet spot, and then you will get more depth of field to get your images really sharp. And tip number four: when
you use Manual Focus, use Focus Peaking and Magnification. Those will help you to
focus manually really a lot, because Manual Focus is sometimes better. For example, in very,
very dark conditions, it might be easier or macro-photography. The mirrorless cameras have
a very, very big advantage over DSLR’s because you
can have Focus Peaking and Magnification in the EVF. But there is one advantages on DSLR’s. You can have a split-screen
focusing screen switch to your DSLR so
that will help you to make Manual Focus a lot easier from your, well, that’s not called
EVF, it’s called OVF. And that will help you with the DSLR’s. But I prefer Focus Peaking. And with Olympus cameras you
can tweak the Focus Peaking. You can turn it on, turn it off, you can have Magnification on, you can have Magnification off, and then you can change the
colors of the Peaking colors to help you to use it in any condition. Doesn’t matter if you have a yellow flower you can use black Focus Peaking or red, whatever you like, and that’s really good thing. And it really, really helps you to make Manual Focusing a lot easier. And I have made a whole
video about Manual Focusing with all of those cameras and
with using my vintage lenses. But I will put the link
to those in the end screen so if you using a lot of vintage lenses or like to use Manual Focus, please go and check out those videos. They are really helpful in that sense. But then there is Pre-MF, which I’ve actually never used. And if you have, please tell me, and how have you used it and why, because I only get one
reason that I could use it is that is astro-photography. And Pre-MF works so that you can set it up from the super control
panel with help of AF or you can dial in manually the distance that you want the Manual Focus to be. And if you turn off the camera, Manual Focus will be on that distance. But if you turn the Manual Focus Ring, it won’t stay in that distance. In some Olympus cameras, you can set the AF Focus
to a certain distances. Let’s say that you know that your subject is five meters away, you can set the focus to be only from four to six meters for example. And then of course 300
millimeter lens that has buttons that will restrict the
focus to a certain area. They’re actually the same
way as the restrictions that you can set in your camera, but with setting them in-camera
works with every lens. So in that sense, that’s
also a good thing to know and make your focusing easier and faster if you know that it’s only
in, you know, certain area of your subject and it will only, the AF will work only on that area. It will make your image sharper, or actually the AF faster and
that way your image sharper. But let’s move on. And before we get into the fifth tip, you guessed it right, I will give you a of couple
bonus tips in the end. But let’s get into the fifth
tip: use fast shutter speeds. If you have a moving subject, to get it really tack sharp
you need to focus properly, and you need to have a shutter
speed that is fast enough. Because if the shutter speed is too long, there will be motion blur, and if you don’t want the motion blur, then it’s a bad photograph. Of course, motion blur
in many cases might be something that you want. If you want to freeze the
action, freeze the motion, use fast shutter speeds to get the image or the subject to be sharp. The best way to figure
out what shutter speed will freeze the action is to test and make images of moving subjects. Try cars in different
situations, flying birds, running people, walking
people, and memorize those, and then you already know
how much the shutter speed should be so that you can
freeze the motion if you want. I remember back in the
film days there was a kind of like a Golden Rule about how fast your shutter speed can be so that you can hold your camera steady. Let’s say that you have a
35 millimeter film camera, and you had a 50 millimeter lens on it, the fastest shutter speed
that was recommended was 1/60 of a second. So the shutter speed was exactly the same as your focal length of your lens. So if you had a 200 millimeter, then it was 1/200 of a second. But that rule does not apply anymore. But if you wanna be on the safe side, you can still apply that rule to get your images really, really sharp. Modern cameras have very good stabilizer. It can be in the sensor,
or it can be in the lens. And it will help you to get sharp images even with longer shutter speeds. And those who have cameras
that have stabilizers, what is the longest
shutter speeds you have managed to get so that the image is sharp? Mine is about three to five
seconds, four seconds maybe. What is your record? And if you haven’t tried that yet, go out and shoot and make the record, and tell me in the comments down below. And then the bonus tip: use the EVF. The way you hold it in your hand is that you have your
hand like this, open palm, and then you drop the camera, or (laughs) well, don’t drop it,
but set it to your hand and then take your other hand like this. So this is actually this hand,
I’ll need to take that away, this hand is actually the hand that will hold the camera steady. And this is the only one, only
to press the shutter button. Or if you use the back bogus futton, back focus button, then you will press that. But remember that always. And then let’s see if the AF
works with my E-M1 Mark II. And when you standing, try to stand your legs a bit part and then bend your knees a bit and then have your camera steady. And while you press the shutter button, and during the exposure, don’t breathe. Then you will get best results with your camera. If you use the LCD, then have your hands like this, and then have two hands in the camera, holding the camera, and then press gently the shutter button. That way it’s a lot easier
to get sharp images. And when you’re having
your hands like this, if you’re breathing really heavily, it will move the camera, and it will cause some motion blur. Or some, what do you call it? I don’t know, some motion
blur in the picture, anyways. All right, we’re back inside. And let’s throw in an
extra tip: use a flash. Because the duration of a
flash when you’re lighting your subject with the flashlight, it will freeze the action. And that’s a good way of freezing action. And I just realized that I don’t have any pictures to prove that
because I never really use it. But maybe that’s another
video that I will make. How to freeze action with your camera, and how to photograph motion. That could be a good video. I will write that down. But sorry that I don’t have
any pictures of the flash. But the idea it works is that if you know that you have a longer shutter speed, and it’s too long for freezing the action, but when you have a flash light
that lights up the subject, it is only fractions of a second that it will light the subject. And that will freeze the motion. That’s the logic, how it works. I hope you understood what I mean. And if you have used flash
to freeze the motion, please tell me that also
in the comments down below. Be interesting to see, or hear actually. And you might want to watch
these two videos next. They are videos about the Manual Focusing and using manual vintage lenses. And that will help you to focus with those if you like to use old vintage lenses, or if you like to use Manual Focus. But hey, thanks for
watching, and bye for now.

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