Xdrive Learn Photography 5 – Sharpness

This week, Raj’s lesson is about sharpness. He pointed out several other important factors for taking sharp photos.

Here are my three photos for this lesson.

I captured this bird when she/he was taking a rest with eyes open. I slowly and quietly walked closer to the bird and quickly snapped a couple of shots. The photo is not sharp. 1/160 sec, f 6.3, and ISO 100 with 170 mm (MF was not on), no edit, only cropping.

The photo above is the image of My friend Mr. B. He lets me take a couple of photos if I pet him for a few minutes. He also wants me to talk to him. When I stop talking, he moves his head and tries to get really close to me.

Last time, he let my camera get this close and did not move at all, but I had to keep talking to him. 1/200 sec. f 5.6, ISO 200, Av (aperture priority) was on, basic editing in Lr.

The next one has a different camera setting.

For this boat shot I use 1/800, f9, ISO 125, and 28 mm and Av with a lens filter (due to the harsh sunlight at around 1 pm).

There are times when I increase the aperture the shutter speed slows down (with Av on); as a result, I tend to set aperture at 7 for example when I should use f11. I really need to start practicing the manual setting.

Raj posts a set of photos explaining the sharpness of each, step by step. The the fisherman throwing his net is an awesome shot!  In this series, he shows how aperture, shutter speed, and ISO can affect the sharpness and many more. Take a look of Xdrive Lesson 5.

Raj also provides a monthly lesson review. For July’s review, he ran through the topics of the photo should speak, exposure, and breathing space using our photos as examples. I can’t imaging how much time he has spent on this lesson series. Thank you so much, Raj!

Hope to see you there. Let’s have an interactive learning experience. 🙂

Happy Thursday!

38 thoughts on “Xdrive Learn Photography 5 – Sharpness

  1. Enjoyed hearing about your learnings, Amy, and experiences as you grow. Your photos are wonderful, I think the horse eye photo is exquisite. Love what you’ve learned from Mr. B, too, about how to get the best photos with him.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have found that different lenses of mine have a “sweet spot” depending on what I’m shooting. I will adjust aperture, and shutter speed based on the lens, and what exactly I am shooting.


  3. First of all thanks Amy for the contribution for the session.. I always look forward to your submission

    Pic 1: As you rightly said, not a sharp image. What is the culprit? Firstly it’s the shutter speed. Your focal length at 170mm and shutter speed is 1/160sec. I would shoot this at atleast at 1/320 sec. There will micro camera shake in this case. Also if you check carefully it looks like camera focused on the feather in the foreground. This is the exact situation where you need manual focus. Camera does not know what is important. In this case eyes are to be focused.

    Pic 2: Beautifully focused and sharp picture. Perfect camera settings and keeping the aperture wide you are able to blur out unwanted stuff in the picture. Only issue with this picture is it’s very difficult to identify as horse. You could have composed differently to show that.

    Pic 3: Again a good settings and a sharp outcome. When you narrow down the aperture the light flow reduces, so in order to expose correctly, camera will reduce the shutter speed. That’s the way camera exposure control works. Even if you use the shutter speed priority or Auto mode same thing will happen. Only manual controls would allow you to freeze all settings as you wanted. Generally a bright sun light is not a good day for photography. Also right hand side of the picture looks very busy and congested. Probably you could have avoided it.

    This critical review is part of XDrive Photo Learning session. Thank you very much once again for contributing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awesome critics, Raj! You are giving an effective teaching by pinpointing the area and offering clear feedback/suggestions. You do so perfectly! I appreciate you telling why it went wrong.
      I need to step out of my comfy zone to get the habit of using the manual setting and MF from now on. 🙂 Your lesson series is easy to understand and fun learn. Thank you!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks Amy 🌷 for your kind words.. Yes using the manual controls is the ultimate for a photographer.. Even I have not mastered it. I use manual exposure only on certain lighting conditions.. Rest all semi automatic.. Cheers to you!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Learn Photography – 5 – Sharpness – XDrive

  5. i’m excited for you Amy as you advance in learning more about photography. your photographs have all been stunning and thank you for sharing them. thank you too for sharing your lessons and tips. your friend, Mr B’s close up shot is awesome! look at those eyelashes! 🙂


    • Thank you for your compliment, Lola! Learning and advancing skills are exhilarating experiences. Taking photos of horses and birds can be challenging most of the time. I love to visit Mr. B. :0


  6. Very apposite post as I am focusing rather more on focus recently – thanks for ‘talking us through’ the technicalities and for the link to Raj – very useful. Can almost see you reflected in Mr B’s eyes!


  7. A diligent learner in the hands of a competent instructor … Little my knowledge on all these techiques,but loved your macro photography,dearest Amy!How beautiful the bird with its fluffy golden feathers and how captivating the stare of the horse!I think I heard a neigh 🙂 <3<3<3 xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for you never-ending support, dearest Doda! The horse is such an intelligent, handsome, sensitive…. creature. Happy to share the story and photo with you. 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  8. You’re welcome my dearest Amy 🙂 Loved all of them,but the eye of the horse was more than a stunning photo,its meek stare deeply touched me,I could read in it the nobility of such a creature 🙂 ❤ xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Photography Learning – Review – August – XDrive

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