Alright friends, let's talk about getting nice sharp images when shooting. Whether you're shooting stock photos, product photos, or lifestyle photos, the sharpness of the photos we create convey a sense of quality and professionalism. Before I get into the technical details I wanted to provide a quick rundown of the gear I shoot with. You can find a full list of my gear here, but the important things you'll want to know for today is that I shoot with the Nikon D300s and the Nikon D700 (similar). I pair the D300s with the Nikkor 35mm lens and I pair the D700 with the Nikkor 50mm lens.
UNDERSTANDING YOUR LENS
One of the first things to consider when producing sharp images or if you're finding that your images aren't as sharp as your would like, is to understand your lens. If you're shooting in natural light and you're shooting handheld (without a tripod) you want to start with your shutter speed twice the amount of your lenses focal length. For example, if your shooting with the 50mm lens you want to shoot with a shutter speed of 1/100 or more. This will ensure the the shutter opens and closes fast enough that there won't be any shake.
UNDERSTAND YOUR APERTURE
Often times when we go from the stock lens that came with our camera to the 50mm or the 35mm (basically any lens that allowed us to shoot with 1.8 or 1.4) we stop shooting with any other aperture except for 1.8 or 1.4, haha! Shooting with an f-stop of 1.8 isn't bad, but when we try to shoot with it all the time, without considering the type of shot we won't, our images can come out soft, instead of sharp. When Tyler and I used to do a lot of style shoots there were plenty of times when my photos came out soft and I wasn't sure why. It wasn't until later that I learned that I wasn't using the proper f-stop for the photo that I wanted.
When I'm shooting portraits I like to use an f-stop around 2.8. When I'm shooting styled stock flatlay photos, I like to shoot with an f-stop of 14. Different photos will require a different f-stop. Once your understanding which circumstances require what f-stop, you'll be on your way to creating sharp beauitufl images.