Your trust is very important to us: this article contains recommendation links. If you buy something through these links, we will receive a small commission. You don’t incur any additional costs and you can easily support our work. A huge thank you, Vladmero & Trish.
Reasons for blurry photos!
We often get messages like this: “Why do my photos get blurred? What am I doing wrong?” So that this doesn’t happen to you and all the others out there in the future, we’ll show you in this article 13 causes of fuzzy photos and how you can avoid this in the future.
Imagine you’re in a beautiful place! It would be a pity if this place only exists in your memory in the end and the details fade over time.
The solution: You banish this enchanting place to a photo, so that you have some of it later.
On your camera display, the image looks great and you’re looking forward to backing up the photos and looking at them on your computer.
And then comes the disillusionment: the photos aren’t really sharp.
This is especially annoying when you have photographed a place or situation that you cannot repeat.
Then you have to live with the fuzzy photos for good or bad forever. If you know the problem, you’re definitely not alone.
As always in photography, it is beneficial if you understand the basics of camera technology. For this article we require a little basic knowledge of photography.
Basically, of course, we always recommend to deal with the settings and many buttons of your camera, then everything makes not only much more sense, but also much more fun.
If you want to finally get to understand your camera better, take a look at our online photo course. There we explain to you in easy-to-understand texts and videos the complete basic knowledge of photography, so that you will soon take breathtaking photos yourself!
But now back to the subject. Here are 13 reasons for blurry photos.
1 The focus is not sitting
The right focus setting is one of the most common reasons why photos become blurred.
Like most of us, you’re sure to use your camera’s autofocus. This is a great thing in principle, but it also has its pitfalls. Because autofocus is not the same as autofocus. You can usually still adjust how the autofocus should work on your camera. Sounds complicated? Isn’t it.
For most cameras, the autofocus is preset so that the camera decides for itself which object you want to sharpen on the image. In many situations, the setting also works quite well.
But even if modern cameras are already very clever, they don’t have a photographic view. So the camera doesn’t always focus on the right spot in your image. This leads to the fact that important things in the finished photo can be blurred and unimportant things can be sharp.
The solution: Get back control of autofocus. In your menu, you can set .B to define the focus point yourself. This is incredibly handy and prevents nasty surprises from blurring photos.
Of course, this does not mean that you should focus completely manually. You only define which area your camera should focus on and the autofocus does the rest.
2 Open aperture
A classic for fuzzy photos is an aperture that is too wide open. We are even big fans of photography with an open aperture, because in this way you get a great blur in the background and can highlight your main motif in particular.
Especially in portrait photography, this effect is very popular. However, with a very wide open aperture, there is a great risk that your subject will not become really sharp.
Let us take portrait photography as an example. You take pictures with a very wide open aperture of f/1.4 or f/1.8 and focus on your model’s eye. Ideally, everything goes well. But if your model moves only a few centimetres backwards, her eyes and probably the rest of her face are no longer crisp.
It doesn’t even have to be because of the movement of the model. The eye is such a small point that the autofocus can get away and instead raises the eyebrow sharply.
Open apertures quickly lead to blurred images. There is no real solution to this, except to pay particular attention to it. The further you open your aperture, the more effort you should put into focusing.
Our tip: If you are shooting with an open aperture, it is best to check the camera display to see if the image is sharp in the right place. You can also zoom into the image with most cameras and then see very quickly whether it is sharp or not
3 Closed aperture
Actually, you increase the depth of the depth of your photos by closing the aperture. Basically, this is also correct and the depth of field of an image with an aperture of f/10 is definitely greater than with an aperture of f/1.8.
Now one could come up with the idea to close the aperture as far as it is possible, in order to get the greatest possible depth of field during landscape shots .B. Stupidly, this makes your photos blurred.
The problem here is that each lens has an aperture area in which it can be depicted most sharply. This varies from lens to lens.
For many lenses, the ideal sharpness range is between f/7.1 and f/11 aperture. In addition, the photos become blurred again. Not completely fuzzy, but just not crisp anymore.
Our tip: You can try this with your lens, in which you photograph the same motif with the same conditions with different aperture settings. This makes it easy to find out which aperture your lens delivers the best results at and when it becomes blurred.
4 Exposure Time
Another very common reason for fuzzy images is too long exposure time or shutter speed. Let’s take a quick look at how the shutter speed works:
The exposure time determines how long your camera’s shutter remains open while you take a photo. When you take a photo, light hits your camera’s sensor. By setting the shutter speed on your camera, you can control how long the light should fall on the sensor.
With a shutter speed of 1/1000 seconds, you can only briefly light the sensor and capture fast movements sharply on your image.
However, if your shutter speed is 1 second, you will let light on the sensor for 1 second. This in turn means that everything that moves on your image is not captured at all or blurred.
5 you are going to
You often forget that you move yourself. We are not a tripod, our hand trembles, our body moves and our arms can get heavy.
This is especially a factor if you have very little light available and need to take pictures with a relatively long shutter speed.
For taking pictures out of hand, there is a great rule of thumb: Your shutter speed should never be longer than the focal length of the lens with which you take the photo.
Assuming you take pictures with a focal length of 50 mm, your shutter speed should not be longer than 1/50 seconds. If you are photographing with a 200 mm focal length, your shutter speed should not be longer than 1/200 seconds.
Of course, this is not always absolutely accurate, but it is a very good donkey bridge if you take pictures from your hand.
If your shutter speed is borderline long and you can’t shorten it any further, just try using your own body as a prop by pressing one or both elbows on your torso.
You can also see if you can find something to lean on. This prevents your body from swaying. Maybe you’ll also find something to hang your camera on.
You should also make sure that the image stabilizer is turned on. But there are also a few things to consider, so we’ll take it up separately below.
6 Your motive is moving
This is followed directly by the next problem. Even if you take a very quiet picture from hand and the exposure time is not too long, your image may end up being blurred.
Because we not only have the problem that we move ourselves when taking pictures, but also in our picture often moves something.
These can be e.B. walkers or cars. But we also have the problem with children playing, wild animals, marathon runners, cyclists or horse races.
Here, the rule of thumb with the exposure time and the focal length no longer helps us, because our motifs usually move far too fast.
The solution: The shutter speed of the camera must be much shorter so that very fast moving people or objects in the image are captured sharply.
Our tip: In such cases, take a picture in S mode (also tv for some cameras) and make sure that your shutter speed is short enough to capture fast movements on the image. Depending on the lighting conditions, however, your camera will eventually tell you, “If you shorten your exposure time even further now, your image will be underexposed”. Then you can do two things: increase the ISO value (resulting in image noise) or open your aperture further (resulting in depth blur).
7 image stabilizer when you take pictures from your hand
Many cameras and lenses have an image stabilizer. Make sure your image stabilizer is turned on when you take pictures from your hand. This helps the camera to compensate for small movements and to sharply display your subject despite small shaking.
So if you haven’t figured out where to turn the image stabilizer on and off, you should definitely deal with it.
It can be set directly in your camera or on your lens. The image stabilizer is not always referred to as such. In our camera it is called .B. SteadyShot.
It’s incredibly important that you know where to turn it off and on. Because there is also a situation where you have to turn it off to get a sharp picture. But we’ll discuss this again later in the article.
8 You don’t use a tripod
There are situations where you just can’t take sharp pictures out of your hand. These are .B moments when you simply don’t have enough light to take pictures from your hand: night shots or long exposures during the day to photograph e.B. running water “soft”.
As soon as you want to expose your photo longer than the rule of thumb 1/second = focal length, you always need a tripod. Otherwise, your photos will be completely blurred – without exception!
We always have at least one tripod with us on the way. Either our very light travel tripod, the Rollei Compact Traveler No. 1 Carbon or the slightly heavier but also more stable Rollei Rock Solid Carbon Gamma with this tripod head: T-5S. We highly recommend both.
9 image stabilizer
Hey, what? Further up we said you should turn on the image stabilizer. Why should it suddenly be switched off?
Simple: Your image stabilizer is turned off when you use a tripod and the camera is quiet!
This is, in fact, a mistake that is very often made. You place the camera on a tripod so that the image becomes crisp and then becomes almost insane, because the photo just always becomes blurred.
Why? Because the image stabilizer still fulfils its actual task despite the tripod, namely to compensate for slight movements (your movements!).
But if the camera does not move at all, but stands quietly on a tripod, then the image stabilizer unfortunately does the opposite. It blurs your image!
So: Always turn off the image stabilizer when you take pictures with a tripod and then don’t forget to turn it back on.
Another factor in why your pictures get blurry, even though you’re shooting on your tripod, is triggering!
When you take pictures with a tripod, it’s all about your camera standing quietly. But if you put it on a tripod and press the trigger with your finger as normal, you force the camera. You can press the trigger so carefully, you will always bring your camera to slight vibrations and get blurry photos.
You have two ways to avoid this error!
Either you set up the self-timer and don’t let the camera trigger until a few seconds after you press the shutter button.
Or you can take pictures with a remote trigger. The first method costs you nothing, but the method with the remote trigger is more error-free, which costs you about 20-50 euros.
The price varies depending on whether you want a wireless or cable remote trigger.
We work with this wireless remote trigger, which we highly recommend: Ayex AX-5/S2 radio trigger.
Make sure the remote trigger is compatible with your camera. It’s best to simply type “Remote Trigger + Camera Model” into the Amazon search or go to the retailer of your trust.
11 You’re too close
One reason for blurry photos is often that the minimum distance between the subject and your camera’s sensor is not adhered to.
Each lens has a so-called near-adjustment limit, which is usually expressed in millimeters or centimeters. This near-adjustment limit indicates how close you can approach your subject with your camera without it becoming blurred.
An example: You see a great flower on the side of the road and would like to photograph it. Now your lens has a close-range limit of 30 centimeters. This means that you have to keep at least 30 centimeters away from the flower.
The size of the near-adjustment limit is usually on the lens. For this reason, there are so-called macro lenses. These have a very low close-up limit, so you can get very close to insects or flowers.
Our tip: Just try it out. Grab your camera and put an object in front of you. Now you just start to get your subject sharp relatively close to the object. It probably won’t work, so you just always go back a bit and see where the camera gets the object sharp.
12 Technology is to blame
You always want to blame technology.
But if we’re honest with ourselves, in most cases it’s not the camera or the lens, it’s just one of the mistakes we’ve just shown you.
In very rare cases, however, you really can’t do anything for the blur and your lens has a quirk.
But if you’re really convinced it’s not up to you, you should submit your lens for proper calibration.
But you may also need to recalibrate the autofocus on your camera. But this is best left to your photo dealer of trust. Maybe you still have a guarantee?
13 It’s not fuzzy
Finally, a slightly different reason. When we talk about fuzzy photos, we should also talk about the definition of “sharp”.
Sure, some photos are immediately clear that they are blurred. They are completely shaky or blurred and definitely not to be used.
But there is also often the case that a picture is only a little bit blurred and that is often not so bad.
A bit fuzzy? What is that supposed to be? If you look at your photo in a small format on your computer, it might look really great. But when you enlarge it, the same image suddenly looks completely blurry and in terror you throw the image directly into the virtual trash.
Stop! Not so fast. Ask yourself beforehand what you want to do with the photo.
Do you just want to watch it on your computer? Are you a blogger and would like to use it for your website? Maybe print a photo book? Print on canvas and hang over your sofa or show the picture as an advertising poster on a house facade?
You probably notice what we want to do. Of course, it’s not nice that your favorite image isn’t as sharp as you’d like it to be. But you may be less annoyed if you are aware of the purpose for which you need them in the first place. Because then you might realize that the sharpness of the image is quite sufficient for this.
To show what we mean by this, here are two “unsharp” pictures that we have taken:
Our conclusion to fuzzy photos
There are many reasons why your images can become blurred. It is important to know the different reasons and to avoid them all as much as possible.
Of course, you can’t think of everything at once at first. This is perfectly normal. But we promise you: Exercise makes the master!
What is still on our hearts is that please do not try to sharpen blurred images artificially. In most image editing programs, such as .B. in Lightroom, there is the possibility to sharpen the images. However, this is not intended for fuzzy images, but only to make sharp images look even sharper.
A really fuzzy image is and remains blurred and cannot be saved. Off to the trash with it and just make it better next time.
Instead of dealing with how to get blurred images sharp afterwards, you prefer to learn to understand the camera technology. So after only a short time you will no longer have the problem of blurred images.
Not only is it incredibly fun to understand the individual camera setting, but it also leads to better results very quickly. Did you feel like it? Then check out our online photo course.
And now we wish you a lot of fun taking pictures, failing, continuing and sending you a lot of #cameraliable!
Read Also:10 tips for photography beginners