8 Reasons Why Your Pictures Looks Blurry and How to Fix Them

On this video photographer Tony Northrup and his wife Chelsea decided to look at a problem all of us encountered at one point or another – blurry images. There are quite a few reasons why an image looks blurry and on this video we take a look at 8 of them and how we can try and fix what was wrong with them.

  1. Your image is blurry with a little bit of motion – this might be caused by camera shake (this means that you are not stable enough when you are shooting). If you have image stabilization – use it, if you can find a way to be more stable (lean on a wall or fence, use a tripod etc) – use it.
  2. If all of the tips in 1# still fail you and your images are still blurry – try increasing your shutter speed. A good rule of thumb is to shoot at a speed which is 1/focal length of your lens – so if you are using a 50mm lens shoot at 1/50 second or 1/100 second or even higher. Do note – if you are using a crop camera you will need to multiply this number by your crop factor (so for Nikon DSLRs you will need to shoot at 1.5x(1/focal length), for Canon it will be 1.6x(1/focal length) and for Olympus/Panasonic it will be 2x(1/focal length).
  3. Motion blur – this happens when you subjects moves too fast compared to the shutter speed that you are using – in this case you need to increase your shutter speed until you will be able to freeze your subject.
  4. If part of your image is sharp but the rest is blurry – you might simply be using a shallow depth of filed – close down your  aperture (go from f/3.5 to f/5.6 or even to f/8) and more of your image will be blur free.
  5. Miss focus – lenses don’t always get the focus currently (this can be a problem with the way you focused, or the way the camera/lens work (sometimes they simply miss focus – it happens). The best way to solve this is to try and shoot several images one after the other and typically there will be a greater chance of success.
  6. In rare cases there might be a problem with your lens (or with the way the camera and lens work together) and the camera will miss focus all the time – this is called back focus or front focus (depending on the nature of the miss focus). Some cameras have mechanism to compensate for that but for others you might need to take the camera and lens to the lab.
  7. If you are shooting outside with long telephoto lenses atmospheric conditions might degrade your image quality in such a way that it might look unsharp and even a little bit blurry. There really isn’t that much you can do about it (what can yo really do about the weather), but knowing
You can check out many more helpful photography tips on our Photography tips section here on LensVid. If you liked Tony and Chelsea Northrup you can check out more of their videos here on LensVid.

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