The 9 Secrets to Sharp Landscape Photographs

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Getting a sharp image is often regarded as one of the more desirable traits of a landscape photograph. And while there are perfectly legitimate reasons that you might like a softer look in some landscape images, getting those tac sharp ones is a skill that every landscape photographer should have in their arsenal. So today we are going to look at several of the considerations that should run through your mind when your goal is to get a sharp landscape shot.

I put these tips together while reading through Kent Dufault’s excellent guide to landscape photography which is well worth a look if you want to take your skills in this area even further.

photo: frank winkler

Any one of these tips will lead to sharper landscapes, but when you start stacking them together, then you get some great results. So take one or do them all!

Find Your Lens’ Sweet Spot for Sharper Images

It is tempting to think that a narrow aperture will give you the sharpest images in landscape photography because theoretically as much as possible is in focus due to a deep depth of field. The reality is a little different and a little more complicated.

Every lens has a “sweet spot” that produces the sharpest images for that particular lens. This means you need to do a little research about the lens you are using. Other than experimentation on your own, it’s usually best to do a quick Google search for your lens model number and the keywords “sweet spot” – for example, Nikon 70-100 f2.8 sweet spot. Quite often you will find the lens’ sweet spot being discussed in forums. This is especially prevalent among landscape photographers, which is quite helpful!

photo: paul skorupskas

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