It’s easy to start blaming your equipment when your images aren’t perfectly sharp, but nine times out of ten, it’s user error. Here are seven reasons why your photos might not be blurrier than they ought to be.

Understanding the exposure triangle is the first port of call for most new photographers — as it ought to be — but that doesn’t mean you apply it perfectly every time. The more years and shoots under your belt, the less likely you are to make mistakes that leave you with blurry images, but it still happens to the best of us. In low-key, moodier shoots, I often walk the line with shutter speeds, ISO, and apertures in conjunction with my lighting as I like setting the mood in camera, not in post. This means that while I’m finding that balance, I’ll occasionally have a little blur in my tester shots.

This video is aimed at newer photographers, however, and my problems with blur when I first started were quite different. My primary error was missing focus. Well, that’s not strictly true, I did manage to focus, just on the wrong part of my subject. I had many portraits in my early days where I wanted to shoot at f/1.8 or f/2.8 but let the camera (this was a long time before Eye AF) decide which part of the face would be sharp. That meant a lot of tack sharp noses and slightly soft eyes. Particularly with my dog!

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