Causes of blurred images in photos and methods of eliminating this problem

Most often in photos, people try to capture pleasant and important moments in life, and it is very frustrating when they turn out to be blurry and indistinct. Why does this happen and what can I do about it? We will tell you the reasons for this problem and tell you about image sharpener programs. We recommend that you try Luminar Neo. This app works great and its AI tools will be simple and easy to understand, even for newcomers.

The main causes of the problem

The causes of image blurring are many, and even if the picture is spoiled in this way should not despair because even in the most complicated cases, the best photo-sharpening software will help you solve the problem.

You are using a shutter speed that is too slow

No matter what you think, very few people can remain still for, say, half a second. In fact, most people can hold a camera still for a very short period of time. For example, if you use a 60mm lens, the shutter speed should be 1/60 s or shorter. With a 200mm lens, the shutter speed when shooting handheld should be no more than 1/200s. With a 400mm lens, no more than 1/400s, and so on (the longer the focal length of your lens, the more prone it is to shake, so shorter shutter speeds are required for telephoto lenses).

Some lenses and cameras have image stabilization systems that allow you to increase the shutter speed by 3-5 stops. So you can use a 60mm handheld lens and shoot at shutter speeds up to 1/8 с. But it’s a good idea to reassure yourself and take a test shot to make sure that your images won’t be blurry.

You are not using a tripod

If you can’t use a fast shutter speed that eliminates camera shake (because of bad lighting, for example) or you don’t want to use it for some creative purpose (like you’re intentionally trying to blur something in the frame), you need to lock the camera in place somehow. The ideal way to do this is to use a tripod. It will help you get sharp photos at shutter speeds of 1 second or more. If a tripod is too uncomfortable, consider a monopod which is more compact and versatile. Don’t forget that when using a tripod, you need to turn off the image stabilization function in the lens or camera. Otherwise, the image captured with a tripod can be blurry because of its operation.

You are using an aperture that is too open

Choosing the best aperture depends on the type of image you’re going to shoot. But if you want everything in the frame to be as sharp as possible, try using a closed aperture (between f/11 or f/22).

Note that a closed aperture lets in less light, so you’ll have to use a slower shutter speed for proper exposure. So, don’t forget the first problem on this list!

You don’t use autofocus

Modern cameras have great performance, so let them do what they do well! I mean focusing on both still and moving objects. Is the autofocus perfect? No, manual focus is actually much more useful in many cases. But in general, autofocus is the best option for any shoot, especially for beginners. Such a problem can be fixed with AI photo sharpening software.

You’re focusing on the wrong place

Even if you use the perfect handheld technique or a tripod, if you focus in the wrong place, you’ll still get blurry images. Photographers often choose the autofocus area selection mode, where the camera decides which part of the image should be in focus. In most cases, modern cameras are pretty good at this, especially if the subject is clearly visible in the frame.

However, with more complex compositions, the camera can get confused and try to focus on the wrong subject. To specify the focus point yourself, switch to single-point AF area mode. Note that in order for the camera to focus, the shutter button is usually pressed halfway, and only then is it pressed all the way down to take the picture.

You are using the wrong autofocus mode

Most cameras offer three basic autofocus modes. You should switch between these modes depending on what you are shooting; otherwise, you risk getting blurry photos. 

  • Single-frame autofocus (AF-S or One-Shot AF), designed for shooting still subjects.
  • Continuous AF (AF-C or AI Servo AF), is designed to track motion in the frame, so it works best with moving subjects.
  • Finally, there is an automatic mode (AF-A or AI Focus AF). This mode will most likely be set on your camera by default. It reads the scene and determines which of the first two modes to use.

You don’t use manual focus

While I’m a big proponent of autofocus, there is one particular time when the manual focus can come in handy: When your camera is mounted on a tripod and you are using an open aperture to get a very shallow depth of field. 

Dirty lens or filter

A large smudge on the front element of the lens will affect the clarity of the image. And if you put a cheap plastic filter in front of the lens, it will also degrade the image quality.

So make sure your lens is clean. And make sure all your filters are good quality. If you shoot with a UV filter and get blurry images, try taking a few shots without the filter to see if the quality of the glass affects your photos.


Now you know how you can make a photo correctly initially so that you do not have to resort to the use of photo sharpening software. Improve your technique and skills to create your own photo masterpieces!

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