Are your photos in focus?
Unless you need glasses and are not wearing them, you should be able to tell right away. If you have any doubts, you can check your vision here and see a doctor! Digital photography has advanced enough to even cell phones can take sharp photos. I even know a few photographers who can take stunning photos with the cheapest disposable camera. There really is no excuse for taking blurry photos anymore. Unless, you want to take blurry photos, in which case that's your deal. I've only seen highly skilled photographers get away with a blurry pic. Most of us mere mortals can't take a blurry photo on artistic merit.
How do you get your photos in focus all the time? Luckily, with practice you can snap sharp pics on a regular basis just knowing what might be causing your photos to go blurry. Here are some things to check:
Clean Your Lens
Sometimes the culprit to soft-focus photos is merely a dirty lens. Lenses can get dirty from all kinds of things, accidental touch, dust, even mist or fog. A simple lens cloth can clean your lens in a snap, and what's great is you can get one for $5 or less.
Make Sure You Have Enough Light
If you're using a camera on automatic settings, chances are the camera will automatically adjust things like ISO and shutter speed. This can have an effect on the graininess of your photos in low light. Try to get as much light as you can for your photos, snap during the day, or getting a decent flash will help. Most indoor lighting is not enough to properly light a photo, cameras need more light than your eyes to get photos properly in focus, unless you have a tripod and can set your camera up for a long exposure. But for most fashion blogger purposes, going to events, exhibitions, presentations, and outfit shots long exposure photography doesn't work. So get a secondary light source if you can.
Hold the Camera Steady
Some cameras and lenses have image stabilization, but for the most part, you'll need a steady hand. If you have trouble with this, try using a tripod, or propping the camera on a table or ledge, even a book can be used to keep a camera steady. This can also be used in low light as well!
Use Auto Focus
Auto focus is the fastest way to get your pics nice and sharp. All you do is point (depending on your camera) press half way down the shutter-release button, wait for the lens to focus, then press the button all the way. DSLRs you can select manually where you want your camera to focus, or you can let the camera decide. Either way, auto focus is fantastic tool for getting sharp photos.
Pay Attention to Pixelation
Every image on the web is made of pixels. Those are tiny squares of color that make up everything you see on your screen. When an image is pixelated, you can see the squares, and it looks digital. One thing I've noticed is bloggers taking photos that appear to have had good light, composition and were at one point in focus. It's good to be mindful of how big your images are because a long load time and slow website can turn off readers, but don't ruin your photos by over-optimizing them for the web. Above is an example of a photo that's been compressed too much, can you see the squares? Those pixels are visible. Often times, I find that compressing to an 8 is sufficient enough to decrease load time without affecting the image. But play around! See how far you can push it before it pixelates.
Keep Taking Photos
Either way, the path to sharp photos is not a difficult one, it just takes a bit of trial and error to get it right. Don't be afraid to push buttons on your camera, play around, experiment with different light situations, play around with your photo editor, and most of all, be honest with yourself about your work. I generally like to be gentle with myself, but it's ok to push to be better. With something like photography, you can take better photos, and what's more, learning is the most fun part!
[Top Image Credit: Shutterstock.com]