How To Take Sharp Photos – Part 2 The Reciprocal Rule

How To Take Sharp Photos – Part 2 The Reciprocal Rule


How do you get sharper photos? Well
there’s a whole lot of things you can do in order to ensure that your photos come
out sharper, so welcome to part two of my series on how to get sharper photos. This
is all about the reciprocal rule so don’t go away Hi there. Barry Callister for Barry
Callister Photography, giving you hints, tips and tricks for better nature
photography. Here on my channel I do gear reviews, camera tutorials, Lightroom and
Photoshop tutorials; all aimed at helping you take better photos of nature. So if
you’re into that kind of stuff consider subscribing. Let’s jump straight into
this video on the reciprocal rule. So what is the reciprocal rule? Well it
states that in order for you to handhold a shot successfully and have no camera
shake that your shutter speed needs to be the inverse of the focal length that
you’re shooting at. Now what does that mean? Well that basically means, for
example, if I’m shooting with my 50 millimeter lens here, I’m constantly
shooting at 50 millimeters. So I need to choose a shutter speed of 1 over 50 or
1/50th of a second in order to successfully handhold a shot. Now it is
more of a guideline than a rule, as with any other rule, it is made to be broken
and you will find that you can get sharp photos with shutter speeds slower than
what the reciprocal rule suggests. But it gives you a good starting point to start
looking into why your photos may not be sharp. Remember this also only applies to when you’re hand-holding your camera. If you
have your camera on a tripod or another steady object, you can ignore the
reciprocal rule and use shutter speeds as slow as you like. Of course it only
applies as well to when you’re taking photos of subjects that are stationary,
or when you yourself are stationary. If you or your subject are moving of course you’re going to need faster shutter speeds. For example, if you’re
photographing a flying bird, or a cheetah running through the African savannah,
you’re gonna need a really fast shutter speed so ignore the reciprocal rule in
those cases. Now keep in mind that the reciprocal rule is also affected by your
camera’s crop factor. So if you’re shooting with a full-frame camera, the
is easy. The slowest shutter speed you can successfully handhold at is one
over your focal length, so one over fifty millimeter in this case. So 1/50th of a second or above. If you’re shooting with a crop sensor camera such as the
Nikon D5200 here, you need to multiply your focal length by the crop factor. So
the D5200 has a 1.5x crop, so I need to multiply 50 millimeters by 1.5 which
would give me 75, so 1/75th of a second or above is the
shutter speed I need to successfully handhold a shot with this camera and
this lens. Now remember this is not a strict rule and you will find you can
get sharp photos at shutter speeds slower than what the reciprocal rule
suggests. I have a video that I’ve done on how to keep your camera steady
without a tripod. I’ve linked that up in the cards right above my head right now
so go and take a look at that video. That’s got some great tips in it on ways
you can steady yourself when you’re not using a tripod and get sharper photos at
slower shutter speeds. So there you go, that’s the reciprocal rule. What it is
and how it affects the sharpness of your photos. Remember that it is just a
guideline more than a rule and you can get nice sharp photos at shutter speeds
below what the reciprocal rule suggests. But you know, it’s a rule, and rules are
made to be broken right?! So if you liked the video, hit the like button before you
go. And if you’re into improving your nature photography, be sure to subscribe
to my channel and ding the notification bell. Make sure you also check me out on
Facebook and Instagram. I’m Barry Callister Photography on both of those
platforms. So there’s loads of my nature photography on there if you’re
interested. Until next time, get out there, take some wicked shots, and I’ll see you
soon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *