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Photography Workshops by Christopher Dodds


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How to make razor sharp images


American Bald Eagle ATTITUDE (Hailiaeetus leucocephalus, Pygarge a tete blanche, BAEA) Kachemak Bay (near Homer), Alaska ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1DX, 300mm F2.8 L IS USM with Jobu L-Bracket  Hand Held ISO 2,000, f/2.8 @ 1/3,200s Manual mode. Click HERE to order a print or license image for publication.

After spending the first day of this week's Snowy Winter Owl Workshops with numerous Snowy Owls in rather balmy weather conditions, I wanted to re-cap one of the important topics that we discussed: How to make razor sharp images. I often get comments about how sharp my images are, and folks often feel there is a secret to making consistently sharp images. While good field craft and techniques do play a major role in making sharp images, you need to start with a solid foundation. Yes, I do use a tripod whenever possible, I ensure I have enough shutter speed to freeze my subject and have the correct parameters set-up in the user menu of my Canon 1DX. I have invested the time to practice, and can consistently acquire fast moving little birds when I bring my eye to the viewfinder; but my answer trumps all of my years of experience and the best technique.

Each and every time that I get a new camera, I meticulously micro-calibrate each, and every, lens, extender and possible combination or both with my LensAlign MKII. This is time consuming, boring and I hate the whole process, but it tightens the manufacture tolerance and ensures that my images will be sharp if I use proper technique. It's like building a house on a solid foundation.

Read more about the LensAlign MKII HERE

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Reader Comments (4)

Great advice, I just started calibrating my lenses with my cameras. Your images show the result; perfection!

January 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCarl

Oh my God, that's for sure the best photo i've ever seen! Congratulations!

January 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAnna

Great article! Thanks for sharing

February 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHuguenin-PHotography

this is a great picture, the composition and the focus are just amazing!

March 7, 2014 | Unregistered Commentervincent Paris

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