Easy Photography Tips - Why are my photos blurred?

3 minute read

Blur and Movement - How to avoid it and when to use it

Ever taken a photo with your phone camera and wondered why it's so blurred?  Have you tried taking it again and again in the hope that your phone might work it out at some point?  I have a few tips for you that might help.

10.16.2015 Mini-session family portrait photography in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire - Jenny Harper-19.jpg

1.  Why the blur?

Basically, if your photo is blurry there is some movement going on in the time it's taken for your camera to take the photo.  

It's probably TOO DARK!  One of the ways that your camera manages to make sure there is enough light coming in to record an image is changing the shutter speed (i.e. the length of time that light is let into to the sensor).  So if there isn't much light, the shutter speed will take longer and in that time there is a chance that either your camera has moved (camera shake) or the subject in your image has moved (like kids running around, vehicles moving or people dancing).

2. What can you do?

If you have a camera with some control over settings and you don't want blur, you can make your shutter speed faster.  Your other settings will need to change too to make sure that there's still enough light hitting the sensor to record an image - if you use a shutter speed priority setting your camera will try to do this for you, unless you have already max-ed out your other settings.

You can try and reduce your camera shake by holding your camera more securely or resting it on some sort of tripod.  It can be especially difficult if you're taking a photo from the screen of your phone, holding it at arms' length, so bring it closer to you or rest your elbows on something.

Your other option is to get more light on your subject, as that's probably the reason why your camera is using a longer shutter speed in the first place.  If it's daytime and you can move your subject, go outside or near a window.  Turn on more light!  Or, if you have to, use your on-camera flash.

3. Embrace the blur!

There might be good reasons why you want a bit of blur in your photos, for artistic effect.  Blur shows movement or it can just make an interesting picture, so if you want to get creative, experiment.  It totally depends what kind of picture you want to create.  Photos of your kids that show just how crazy, non-stop, on the go they are can record a great memory.

I hope that you've found this helpful.  Let me know if you have any other photography questions by commenting below or emailing me at info@jennyharperphotography.com.