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on Jan 6, 2009 in Camera Tech, Wildlife Photography

Sharpness Series #1 – Basic Settings

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“How do you get your images so sharp?” Sharpness is one of the first quests photographers and wildlife photographers in particular seek in their photography. There’s a very important reason why, it’s the 2nd thing our mind subconsciously grabs onto in a photograph in finding the subject. Over the next couple of weeks, I’m going to have my own version of a mini-series here on the blog as I explore aspects of capturing a sharp images. These lessons will all be based on camera craft where sharpness has to be exact from the moment you go click. The 1st in the series is just basic settings.

We’re amazingly fortunate these days that we have camera’s with brains! Seriously. Personally, I strive to remove every “camera based” element when I’m shooting so I’m concentrating on just one thing and one thing only, the subject. The Nikon AF system fits my simple mind to a T (I can’t walk and chew gum at the same time). The new AF system in the D3 has become a good friend, permitting me to not really think about AF operation. Along with the M/A function of the AFS lenses, I’m able to make better photos, faster and as sharp because I’m concentrating on the subject.

There is no guarantee you’ll have the exact results from these setting that I have, but you can see what I use viewing this video and then this video. What variables change? The biggest being experience behind the camera. Familiarity with the camera makes a huge difference. The only way I know of remedying this is time behind the camera. Every day, whether I’m shooting or sitting here at the computer, the camera is in my hand so it remains familiar. The camera has to be your best friend, I’m a firm believer of that.  This shot is an sample of that, this is a hand heldshot of a Roseatte Spoonbill taken and it’s coming in for the night at the rookery. I hope this helps all those who emailed in recently asking this question. There’s more to come, this is just the start on this topic.

Photo captured by D3, 600VR on Lexar UDMA digital film