Why Are Your Photos Blurry?

Why Are My Photos Blurry?

The Most Common Reasons For Blurry Photos

Blurry photos can be caused by various factors, but two of the most common are the misuse of Shutter Speed and Aperture settings.

Understanding how to properly adjust these settings can significantly improve the clarity and sharpness of your photographs.

Slow Shutter Speed and Motion Blur

Each situation needs a different minimum shutter speed to capture sharp images. For portraits, 1/250s works well, but for moving subjects it won't be enough to avoid motion blur.

Here is a demonstration of a shutter speed, fast enough to capture still objects but not fast enough to capture a moving person without introducing motion blur.

Why are my photos blurry?

Recommended Shutter Speeds for Avoiding Motion Blur

Below are some recommended shutter speed settings that serve as starting points, to help you prevent motion blur in your photos.

Portraits: 1/250s
People walking: 1/500s
Moving objects like cars and bikes: 1/1500s
Objects in mid-air: 1/2000s

Wide Aperture and Out of Focus Photos

By using a wide aperture, we achieve a shallower depth of field, resulting in a smaller focus area. This can lead to out-of-focus photos and make them appear blurry.

Here is an example of a wide aperture that allows either the background or the foreground to be in focus, but not both simultaneously.

Why Are My Images Blurry?

Aperture Recommendations for Sharp Photos

Below is a list of recommended aperture settings for various situations, serving as a starting point to minimize undesired blurriness.

• Portraits: f2.8
• Full-body portraits: f4
• Subjects in motion: f4
• Group photos: f5.6
• Landscapes: f8 and above


When taking portrait shots or photos of people in general, it's a good idea to focus on your subjects' eyes. Fortunately, most modern-day cameras come with built-in eye-autofocus features, which help you avoid unwanted out-of-focus faces.

Why Are My Photos Blurry?

Focal Length, Zoom and Shutter Speed

Using a lens with a focal length of 50mm or higher without readjusting your shutter speed can lead to shaky footage. However, when using a 16mm lens with the same camera settings, your footage appears sharp. 

This occurs because when shooting handheld, slight movements are inevitable, and the higher the focal length, the more noticeable these "shakes" become in your photographs.

To prevent getting shaky images, it's important to be mindful of your focal length and your shutter speed and make adjustments if necessary. To prevent motion blur, increase your shutter speed as your focal length increases.


If your subjects are not well lit or the environment is too dark, try increasing your ISO. Remember that each situation is unique, so you may need to adjust the above settings accordingly.

Focal Length, Zoom and Aperture

When dealing with zoom lenses, it's essential to consider a few key features.

One of the most crucial aspects is whether they have a constant aperture. Some lenses readjust their aperture while zooming. For instance, you might start with a minimum aperture of f/4.5 at 50mm then zoom to 210mm and end up with a minimum aperture of f/6.3, or vice versa. These lenses are equipped with automatic aperture readjustment, and unfortunately, there is no manual control over this process.

In simpler terms, this means that as you zoom in or out, the amount of light hitting your camera's sensor and your depth of field will change. This can lead to a rapid transition from a focused to an out-of-focus image without you even realizing it.

To avoid capturing out-of-focus photos, it's crucial to pay attention to your aperture settings and make adjustments when needed.


By shooting with the lowest possible ISO, you can achieve noise-free photos that appear clean and sharp. However, don't hesitate to increase your ISO when necessary. It's preferable to raise the ISO rather than adjusting your Shutter speed or Aperture.

Auto Mode and Blurry Photos

When your pictures come out blurry in auto mode, it's usually because there's not enough light around. Your camera chooses settings it thinks will work best in the current situation to make sure your photo is well-exposed.

However, this combination leads to using a slow shutter speed, wide aperture, and high ISO. Together, these factors are responsible for causing your photos to become blurry, lacking sharpness, and appearing grainy.


Another crucial feature found in certain lenses is stabilization. Some lenses are equipped with stabilizers that allow you to shoot at slower shutter speeds without experiencing motion blur.

Additionally, some cameras also offer built-in stabilization. When you combine these two features, you can capture images with even slower shutter speeds, minimizing motion blur caused by camera shake.

If your equipment lacks stabilization features, simply raise your ISO setting, and you're all set.


Other factors that can lead to blurry photos include:
• Dirty lens
• Dust on your camera sensor

• Poor weather conditions

In Conclusion

Ensure that your shutter speed is fast enough, and your aperture is set to cover the area you want in focus. Take the time to study and understand your gear, and make it work effectively for your photography needs.

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