How To Take Crisp Photos

1.  Use The Lowest ISO That You Can

I explained ISO previously, so I will keep this short and sweet:

  • The lower the ISO, the sharper your photo.
  • This all depends on available light, of course.
  • Basically you want to use the lowest ISO setting that you can get away with so that you get a crisp photo with minimal digital noise.

Digital noise is not techno music, despite what you might think. It basically means that your pixels are all wacked-out and grumpy and not letting you have a crisp photo.

This applies to most of you using point-and-shoots too!  I have a Canon Powershot and you can use manual settings.  Don’t chicken out.  Be brave.  You will be happy that you did.

On a bright, sunny day you will want to shoot at an ISO of 100 (or less, if your camera lets you).

You will need to bump it up in lower light, but try to shoot at the lowest ISO you can get away with.

2. Use A Tripod

The tripod is your friend. Taking photos of your kids in the yard is not conducive to using a tripod.  OF COURSE.

If you are taking family, wedding, or macro photos you will want to use a tripod.  Camera shake can be disastrous.

If you do not have a tripod handy try bracing your camera by pulling your strap tight.  You can also place it on an fence, chair, etc.

(More ideas for what to do when you don’t have a tripod.)

I used my tripod to take photos of my laundry room renovation.

3. Use Your Self Timer

If you are using the lowest ISO possible, just the pressing of the shutter button can cause camera shake. When doing formal portraits or still/macro shots you will likely want to use a shutter release cable.

If you cannot justify the expense, and ten seconds will not kill you, use your camera’s self-timer function. You press the shutter button and ten seconds later your camera has stopped shaking so that you can take a crisp photo.

4. Shoot Rapid Fire (Continuous Mode)

Friends often find it humorous when I take photos and they hear the shutter fire off three or more times.  It also surprises them if I have them take a photo of me and mine.  They press the button and BAM, BAM, BAM! Three photos in a matter of seconds!  It kind of freaks them out.

My camera is almost always set to continuous mode. The reason being that out of three or more shots, at least one of them has to be crisp and clear. If there is any camera shake from pressing the shutter button it is on the first frame and then the remaining shots are nice and crisp.

For group shots, the likelihood of everyone having their eyes open is also greater.

5.  Play Your Photos Back And Zoom In

On the tiny LCD display of your camera photos almost always look like they are in focus.  I have gotten into the habit of zooming in to make sure and what do you know?  Sometimes they are NOT in focus. This little habit of mine has saved me many a headache.  It also allows me to get crisp shots of my children.

These are five tips that I employ on a regular basis to help me to get the clearest photos I can.  Try them yourself!


  1. Lowest ISO
  2. Tripod
  3. Self-Timer
  4. Rapid-Fire
  5. Play Back/Zoom In

Your photos will be crisp and you will be happy!


What do you think?



  1. 9

    Very nice tips! I hate it when I have uploaded my photos and they are out of focus because they look so good in the view finder!

  2. 10

    Great tips! I really need to learn how to use my little Canon PowerShot A590IS. It’s a little challenging. But I REALLY want to move up to a big girl’s camera!! I have a lot to learn!

  3. 11

    Great article. 🙂

  4. 12

    This is great – I often get that “digital noise” you were mentioning and I was wracking my brain trying to figure out what caused it!

  5. 13

    What wonderful tips! Thank you so much, they will be very helpful indeed.

  6. 14

    Thanks for some great photo tips! This site comes through every time for some awesome daily living advice!!:)

  7. 15

    I’m really enjoying your photo tips. You may have covered this, but I’ve not been able to locate it through a search on the site. Do you have tips on how to take pictures of dogs without ending up with “ghost” eyes? You know – that almost fluorescent green color? I’ve taken so many candid photos of Henley, our Great Dane and 9 times out of 10 I end up with the eyes all ghostly. Great for Halloween, but not so great for the rest of the year! I don’t have Photoshop so any help you could give would be great!