Photography tips

Proven Tips To Avoid Blurry Photos By Choosing the Right Autofocus Mode

Choosing the Right Autofocus Mode

If you are getting blurry photos and you have tried everything to correct it without any success, the problem is likely the use of wrong autofocus mode. Most professional digital photographers have had this experience in the past, everything seems to be right but yet your images aren't as clear as you would've preferred.

One of the reasons for this occurrence is that your camera is not as properly focused as it should be. When you have this problem, you will need to work on your camera's autofocus mode and try to get the proper settings. Fortunately, there are wide varieties of modern cameras which give you the ability to easily take sharp images in a wide variety of situations as far as you are using the right autofocus mode.

How to Figure Out Why You Are Getting Blurry Images

Below, we are going to suggest different questions and technique you can use to dissect the problem and figure out what is causing your photos to be blurry.

1. What Type of Autofocus Selection Are You Using: Single-point or Auto-area Autofocus?

This is probably the first question you should ask when your images are turning out to be blurry. When you are making use of an Auto-area autofocus, your camera will be the one to decide your focal point. Mostly, the camera does this by choosing what is closest to the camera or what looks most prominent in the viewfinder. This might turn out to work perfectly for you when you have an obvious subject and much less distractions.

If you need better control, you will be better-off using the Single-point autofocus settings. In this mode, you will be able to choose your exact auto focus. If you are not sure how to do this, check your camera's manual.

2. Do You Have a Static or Moving Subject?

There are four basic options for autofocus settings in DSLR camera which you will use based on the conditions of your subject. These options include single, auto, continuous, or manual option.

Choose "One Shot" for Canon and "AF-S" for Nikon if your subject is static. Choosing this mode will help you to lock in your focus based on your subject's distance to the camera. Your photo will be in focus as far as your subject stays at that distance. Note that you will only get the right result with this mode if your subject is in stationary position. Your camera won't be able to lock focus if your subject is moving.

ØWhat to do when your subject is moving:

Alternatively, if your subject is moving, you should probably use continuous autofocus mode ("AF-C" in Nikon) to place your autofocus point over your subject. You will be able to continue adjusting the focus by holding down the shutter button. This act will help you keep your subject in focus while it moves.

ØWhat to do when your subject is not moving but you suspect it might move:

This is a very tricky situation. In order to get the right focus when you find yourself in this situation, you will need to merge the functionality of the single autofocus and continuous autofocus.

You can achieve this by using hybrid mode which is known as "AI" in Canon, and "AF-A" in Nikon. This mode usually starts out as a single auto focus but won't focus until you lock in on a stationary subject. You can then be able to take your shot as your would in a traditional single auto focus mode once your subject is in focus.

Note that the autofocus will release and continues to track your subject if it starts moving again. This mode gives you the best of both worlds.

ØWhat to do When your Autofocus Isn't Getting it Right

In some situation, you can turn off your autofocus by accident. Although this rarely happens, but it won't hurt to check once in a while if your autofocus isn't getting it right like you would've preferred.

Alternatively, you can turn off the autofocus function and work with your Manual settings. It might be more efficient focusing the camera yourself using the manual settings when your autofocus is having trouble detecting your focus point.

Other Reasons Why Your Photos Are Blurry

Apart from the issues treated above, there are some other factors that may contribute to your blurry image problem. Some of these factors include:

1. You Are Too Close to your Subject

If you are too close to your subject, try to add some distance. Being too close to your subject might be stopping your camera from achieving proper focus.

2. Not Enough Contrast

In some cases, your subject might lack adequate contrast which the autofocus system needs to work. Your camera can't focus if it cannot find any contrast.

3. You Are Dealing with a Case of Extreme Shallow Depth of Field

If you find yourself in this situation, the shallow depth of field will not allow the impact of the autofocus to be felt. Thus, you will be confused whether your subject is in focus or not.

4. Your Camera is Not Stable

Using an unstable camera is another factor that may be contributing to your woes. In most cases, you'll unwittingly shake the camera when you press the shutter; the camera will pick up on this movement if your shutter speed is slow leading to a blurry photo. If you are not using a shutter remote, ensure that you make your shutter speed faster than the equivalent of your focal length. For instance, you should have a shutter speed of 1/100th of second or faster if you are zoomed to 100mm.


Hope these tips helped you to solve your blurry photos problem. You should be patient and try to follow each solution one after another until you figure out what is the problem and the solution.

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