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General Chat - not just photography => General Photography Talk => Topic started by: didispeed on December 18, 2015, 07:50:30 AM

Title: sharpness
Post by: didispeed on December 18, 2015, 07:50:30 AM
It's been a long time since I visited the forum,
I have a question about sharpness, sometimes I stumble
across pictures on the net that look so sharp, and then when I
look at mine, I can't always find the sharpness.
How do they make these look so sharp? Is my picture size too big?

Here's an example of such a picture, It looks so clean, bright and sharp.
Title: Re: sharpness
Post by: AScot on December 18, 2015, 07:22:39 PM
That is a difficult question to answer and depends on so many different variables: lenses, tripods, f stops, the list goes on. What I did notice on the first photo you link to is this. Look at the underside of the aircraft where it is in shade. You will notice a very thin white line between the shade and the blue sky. That line is possibly an artefact caused by over sharpening in post processing. These artefacts appear at the junction between high contrast areas. It may also simply be a reflection of the sun hitting the metal, however I doubt that.

That does not really answer your question as these photos were taken by professionals with no expense restrictions. What lenses do you use? Do you use a tripod? What f stops do you use and under what circumstances? If you are consistently not getting sharp photos, then it points to a problem with your equipment or your understanding of photography, unlikely as that may seem to you. I have no problems getting sharp photos if I use a good lens and shoot according to the existing conditions. I also fail miserably but it is always my fault. 
Title: Re: sharpness
Post by: didispeed on December 18, 2015, 07:58:08 PM
Thx for the answer, you are right about all the factors about a picture, the guy could have been shooting with 15000 dollar worth of equipment around his neck. I'm very satisfied with my pictures, but sometimes I'm surprised about pictures I see on the net. Next one, is a picture I took myself, resized to 1600 x 800, clarity applied and sharpness. I posted it in facebook, so I hoop facebook didn't lowered the quality. (

let me now what you think ;)
Title: Re: sharpness
Post by: AScot on December 18, 2015, 08:36:28 PM
I would say that your photo is as technically sharp as most of the others. I see that you have taken the aircraft at an angle, most of the others were taken from side on which requires a wide angle lens to get close enough to read the letters. Really good wide angles lenses are expensive. Compare your photo with this one here ( taken at a similar angle as yours. However, note that yours is taken during the day when the light was harsher. The one I link to was taken at closer to sundown when the light was much nicer and more controllable with artificial light added. It was also taken looking up at the aircraft which is more artistic than your straight on approach and the subject is much more interesting, Like taking a picture of a beautiful model vs a plain old guy like me. Last thing to note is he does not cut off any of the model like the left wing on yours. An airplane cannot fly with half a wing so why cut it off?

I think you should now realize that it is not only the equipment that matters but also the preparation and how you look at and see the subject. Most successful professionals have these qualities, we have to learn them the hard way.
Title: Re: sharpness
Post by: chappo1 on December 18, 2015, 09:45:25 PM
Tsk Tsk Didier, only visiting us when you have a question !
Good to hear that you are still around and shooting though.
Sharpening is a topic that one could go on about for many pages and many books and AV's devote pages and hours of content to it.  Your images would not let me download into photoshop to see if I could do anything to them so words only from me.
My wife and I belong to a local camera club and compete it the club competitions most months so I gt lots of practice in sharpening images and see lots of images.
Sharpening for an A3+ print is a different proposition to sharpening for web and your eyes trick you as well. Plus different parts of an image need different treatment if you have the time and inclination.
If you are only putting images on the web and not printing, try the smart sharpen in Photoshop cloud and play with the radius and amount to see what happens.  Normally you would adjust the resolution to your final resolution and then sharpen.  The types of sharpening also depend on the image and you could try the old Hi pass filter on sharp edge object like a plane but be aware of the edge lines Charles mentions....
Title: Re: sharpness
Post by: didispeed on December 19, 2015, 08:48:33 PM
Thanks for the reply. It's not always easy to take a quick shot like mine, I was on the tarmac, waiting for the aircraft to arrive, and if you look to where the tyres are, you can see that it's still taxiing to the gate, so this was a quick shot, with only the lens I had on my camera that I can take on the airport at work. So it's not always easy.
I took some portrait shoots last year, and I'm always very busy with planning holiday's, etc. So I don't always find the time to get on line on the forum. If you would like to see some of my work, always happy to hear some comments. (

Thanks for the info