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| DearWebby is actually Helmut Morscher, the CEO of Webby, inc.
Originally the "Tech Support Pits" were reports of the funniest tech support incidents, but over the years the
column gradually shifted to answering tech support questions put forward by the readers of the Dear
Webby Humor Letter.
This collection of computer and web advice was started partly because readers demanded an archive, and partly
because some questions were asked again and again. Each page has a different day's Tech Support Pits column.
Tech Support Pits column from Dear Webby's Humor Letter of
06/23/05: Fuzzy close-ups
Tech Support Pits:
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When I take close-ups with my digital camera, the center
always seems to be fuzzy. Distance shots are clear, so it's
not a greasy fingerprint on the lens. It's a very small lens
and recessed anyway. What could cause that?
Especially with small lenses the aperture has to open up
wide if the lighting is low. That causes the area of
sharpness to shrink to a thin layer.
If you can add extra light, that will thicken the layer of
sharpness. When you can't add light, go farther away.
Use the highest resolution you got, and then later crop
the picture to get your close-up.
When you are really close, the layer that is in focus is
maybe half an inch thick. That might be the tips of a
flower, and the inner parts of a deep blossom might
be fuzzy. From a few feet away, the layer of sharpness
would be 5-6 inches and plenty to show the entire flower
nice and sharp.
Close-up lenses and microscopes are no help at all.
They make that effect even worse.
Using the flash often helps. The camera pre-calculates
the effect of the flash and squints down the aperture. On
a close-up most of the flash will shoot right by it and what
light from it, that hits the object, will be at a good
angle and improve contrast.
If you plan to take a lot of close up pictures, select a
camera with a large lens to capture as much light as
possible, so that it will narrow down the aperture.
Shoot the picture at 2200 x 1650 or higher resolution,
and then crop it down to 800 x 600, which is probably
the largest size picture that you would use on a web
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