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When is a photo too sharp?

joshwa Plus
9 905 United Kingdom
27 Sep 2019 8:25AM
Are your photos always sharp? Are they too sharp?

Saw this, and thought it was interesting:

Remember when photos were out of focus, or soft, and that was fine?
It seems we've all become obsessed with ultimate sharpness (particularly reviewing cameras and lenses!)


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chase Plus
14 1.3k 275 England
27 Sep 2019 8:45AM

Quote:It seems we've all become obsessed with ultimate sharpness

Sadly I am one of those Blush I have tried, several times, to produce some selectively sharpened/OOF images, I just can't do it...sad, I know.
capto Plus
7 5.9k 13 United Kingdom
27 Sep 2019 8:55AM
The correct sharpness is like the eye of the beholder.
Tianshi_angie 4 2.7k England
27 Sep 2019 9:38AM
There is a photographer who I follow on Flickr who very rarely produces sharp images. They are very beautiful - more like 'old master' paintings and interesting (to me) she never fails to get hundreds of 'approvals'. She quite often uses lensbaby lenses and usually textures (many of which she makes herself) to create work which is a breath of fresh air and rather romantic. Personally I like both but think that there are times when sharpness is not the 'right' format - perhaps portraits, certainly children, when 'softness' can give a little more 'glamour'. But then I am also not a great fan of black and white as I think colour adds more gentility to an image.
bluesandtwos 10 409 1 England
27 Sep 2019 9:40AM

Quote:The correct sharpness is like the eye of the beholder.

Agreed, I love the soft dreamlike style of David Hamilton ( although not the man himself if what is alleged about him was true). If it looks 'right' it is right, whether it be soft, sharp or blurred makes no difference. Look at some of the images with intentional camera movement of our own member Whatriveristhis, stunning.
JJGEE 14 7.6k 18 England
27 Sep 2019 9:48AM
Possibly too sharp when you can see the halos around the edges ?

27 Sep 2019 10:57AM
Or pores in the human skin

Soft focus portrait lenses seem to have disappeared presumably in favour of over cooked post processing 😁
Dave_Canon 13 1.6k United Kingdom
27 Sep 2019 4:10PM
Is the lack of sharpness due to poor focussing, poor lens or movement. You can correct these to some extent but general sharpening only enhances edge contrast which when overdone produces halos. I prefer my images to be naturally sharp and since having a 30Mp FF camera with L lenses, I rarely need to sharpen using editing techniques. When I do, I now use Topaz AI Plug-ins which do avoid trying to sharpen plain areas etc. I am also happy to blur on purpose and with the right subject this can work well. I am happy to soften skin on some portraits but only selectively, I would normally still require the eyes sharp.

benjibob342 13 43 United Kingdom
29 Sep 2019 5:09PM
Gaussion blur ?

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