Crank up your shutter speed.
If you don’t have your camera on a tripod, a fast shutter speed can ensure a sharp image. A good rule of thumb is to go with one over the focal length. So, if you use a 400mm lens, set your shutter speed at 1/400 of a second. “If I need to shoot slower than that to get enough light into the sensor, I’m going to have to use a tripod or bump up my ISO,” says Ohst.
Turn on image stabilization.
Also known as vibration reduction, this critical feature can help you avoid blurry images. Since telephoto lenses are long and heavy, the risk of camera shake is high. “It's important, if you’re not on a really sturdy tripod, to make sure that image stabilization is turned on,” says Ohst.
Use a remote trigger.
Another way to avoid camera shake is to use a timer or remote shutter release instead of pressing the button on your camera to take your photo. “I use a wireless remote,” says Ruggieri. “I’ve lost a few, so I buy cheap ones — a pack of three for about $15.”
Editing your telephoto images.
When you get home from a shoot, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom makes a painless process out of organizing and perfecting your shots. “My first pass through my images is eliminating any that are blurry or unusable. When I was new to telephoto shots, there were more of those than I was used to because of the lens moving or the tripod sinking, or various problems like that,” says Ohst.
Sort photos easily.
“Go through and select the ones that are most compelling. I give them star ratings in Lightroom and then the ones that are four or more stars are the ones that I will go through and edit.”
Use Dehaze to clarify your shots.
“I do basic edits first just to get the color, the highlights, and the shadows looking good,” says Ruggieri. “Then I use the Dehaze feature in Lightroom. I’ve noticed when it comes to telephoto, there’s more haze, so I use Dehaze a bit more than with other types of photography. One thing I watch for, after I use Dehaze, is if the image has too much saturation. I will sometimes decrease it slightly to compensate.”