Sharp Shot Must-Know Info

March 4, 2010

Learning, Photo Tips, Wildlife

Getting sharp images of moving subjects, of course, begins with getting a sharp in-camera shot.

To accomplish that goal, we can:

• Use good glass;
• Set our cameras to the focus-tracking mode;
• Shoot at f/8;
• Not overexpose the scene (which can blow out highlights);
• Shoot RAW files (so, among other things, colors are not over saturated);
• Shoot at a relatively low ISO (but with today’s SLR cameras low can be ISO 800-1000)
• Steady our camera, with IS/VR or tripod/monopod.
• Shoot on a sunny day, which provides more contrast than an overcast day.

But getting a sharp image does not stop there.

In the digital darkroom, we can:
• Sharpen the image;
• Increase the contrast;
• Adjust Levels or Curves (which also adjust contrast).

Here is a sharp shot from one of my Africa workshops. (It’s a low res image, so it may not look that sharp.)

Tech info:
Canon EOS 1D Mark II

Canon 100-400mm IS lens set @ f/7.1.
Shutter speed: 1/400th sec.
ISO 200

Processing Info:
I used Levels first, then increased contrast, and then sharpened using Unsharp Mask.

Explore the Light,

P.S. Stuff like this will be featured in my next app: Rick Sammon’s 24/7 Photo Safari. Due out in May or June.

This post was written by:

- who has written 171 posts on The Digital Photo Experience.

Canon Explorer of Light Rick Sammon has published 36 books, including Exploring the Light and Digital Photography Secrets.

When asked about his photo specialty, Rick says, “My specialty is not specializing.”

You can follow Rick on twitter at and visit his website at

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One Response to “Sharp Shot Must-Know Info”

  1. nukker Says:

    I look forward to your comments and tips on Aperture3.

    Enjoy DPE, 2 podcast a month is not enough!


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