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There are a lot of variables and factors that go into taking a good picture, the quality of a picture, does not lie solely on just the specifications of the device that you capture the picture with or the just the techniques that you use while you do. Though, a basic understanding of photography is essential to improve the quality of the pictures that you take, you also need to know how to tweak the settings on your camera to find the optimum settings that you need in order to take the best picture regardless of the make, model or specification of the camera that you are using.
Reducing your ISO
ISO is the standard which indicates the sensitivity of your camera to light. Tweaking the ISO controls the amount of light that enters your sensor.
Having a higher ISO makes digital noise creep into your picture and that reduces sharpness as a lot of grain will be visible in your photos. As a general rule, it is always better to make sure that the ISO is set low if you want to get better pictures.
It is also advisable to figure out the highest ISO you are prepared to set for a picture that you take.
Increasing your Aperture
At the extreme ends of the aperture, physical imperfections will start popping up because of the mechanical design of the lenses.
If you use a fast lens at f/1.4, you will be letting a lot of light in, and this goes a long way when it comes to reducing ISO. Using a wider aperture will reduce the sharpness. Lowering it to f/2.8 or f/3.5 will also do a lot for improving the sharpness.
This doesn't mean that using the smallest aperture is the best thing to do as light entering a small aperture will begin to interfere with itself and reduce the sharpness.
These problems occur in all lenses across all manufacturers and price ranges. The best thing to do is to shoot at a midrange aperture that is somewhere between f/3.5 to f/8. This will produce the best image.
Use a tripod/ Increase your shutter speed
If you happen to be using a handheld camera and have a long shutter speed, it is certain that you will end up moving your hand and thus cause blur to creep into the image that you have captured. Even the steadiest of hands will cause tiny vibrations. Increasing the shutter speed will reduce the chances of your photo being disrupted. A tripod will also be able to take care of this issue.
Improve your Focus
After you have nailed the problem of the shutter speed, you will have eliminated one source of blur, the next thing that you need to do is improve your focus.
Studying your camera and seeing how well it works is the best way to find out the optimum settings that you should be in control of before taking a picture.
Correct your White Balance
White balance is the difference between horrible colors and beautiful natural looking colors. This is the reason that interior photos look yellow and the pictures taken in the snow look blue.