What made it 'fuzzy'?

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    Kina Lamb

    Howdy! 😀

    I took our family pictures in October, I believe, and was super excited about them. Overall, I am very happy with how they turned out, but at first I was really disappointed because as soon as I uploaded them, I noticed my old enemy, fuzziness. I had known all along that they would probably be fuzzy but was optimistic anyway. I’ve just decided to ignore it, but I would love to figure out what is causing the fuzziness. Sometimes it appears in my photos, and sometimes it doesn’t. I keep my lenses and sensor well cleaned and protected. I spoke with two expert photographer friends of mine and they both said different things. One said that my aperture was too low, and the other said that my DPI was the problem. It had been at 72, so I changed it to 300, but it didn’t fix the problem – in fact, it looked blurry after that!

    Here’s the picture 😀 (I had duplicated the picture and changed the DPI on it. This is the original picture w/ 72 DPI. It is edited.)
    Shot with a Canon EOS Rebel T6

    ISO – 160
    Aperture – f/5
    Shutter Speed – 1/640

    Kina Lamb

    HERE’S the picture. 😀 I put the wrong one in the original post. 😀

    David Frazer

    A couple of comments:

    DPI does not affect the photo until you print it. DPI stands for “dots per inch” and computers ignore that when displaying on the screen. The resolution of the attached picture is 1500 × 1052. If you are printing a 4″ x 6″ photo (standard around here) that would be about 250 dpi. The fuzziness is not due to dpi in this case, although depending on the resolution and size of the print, it could affect it once printed.

    An aperture of f/5 at 41mm should not result in too shallow a depth of field for a group that size and at that distance. If the aperture was too wide open (small f/ number) I would expect either the people or the grass in front of the people to be out of focus.

    It is also not due to camera shake or subject movement as the shutter speed is quite fast and you are obviously not shooting from a moving vehicle. 🙂

    Here are a few possible reasons why it might be fuzzy:
    1) The camera focused in the wrong place. It looks like the grass in front may be a bit more in focus than the people.
    2) Image stabilisation was turned on when using a fast shutter speed or when on a tripod.
    3) The more difficult lighting situation required heavy processing. Ideally you would use a large reflector to reflect some of the bright light back onto the subject, or use a “fill-flash” (a flash on a low power setting) to do the same thing.
    4) The lens quality. This is a kit lens and has its limitations, and may be a bit softer than a higher quality (and more expensive!) lens. If this is a heavily cropped image, it could be just that.
    5) JPG compression. If you are shooting in JPG with a small or lower quality setting, that would not help. Make sure you are shooting in either the highest quality jpg, or better yet RAW.

    Most likely it is a combination of 1 and 3, and possibly 2 and 5.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 5 months ago by David Frazer.
    Kina Lamb

    Oh wow, thank you @Dfrazer 😀 Those five points make a lot of sense. I shoot in RAW, always, and I did use a reflector. How would image stabilization being on while on a tripod or having a fast shutter speed make it fuzzy?

    David Frazer

    Image stabilization is basically a gyroscope powered by a motor in an attempt to reduce small sudden movements of the camera/lens. When the camera is perfectly still (like on a tripod) the motor can actually cause some vibration.

    James Staddon

    I would say @dfrazer’s reason #2 or #4 would be the greatest contributor to what you’re seeing. Thankfully it’s not terribly fuzzy!

    Also, just wanted to mention, changing image Resolution could result in it looking visually blurry on a screen if you happened to “Resample” it when changing the Resolution from 72 to 300. It’s Photoshop’s word for, in this case, adding pixels to the image to make it larger.

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