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First portrait and editing in LR

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  • First portrait and editing in LR

    smile

    Hi all. i recently took up photography and I love taking portraits, however, dampened by lack of sharpness of both eyes in most pictures I took. i'm thinking i should've gone between f3-5.6 for this image to get both eyes sharp? do i AF on one eye and recompose? is it better to focus in between both eyes to get both sharp?

    Shooting details as below:
    Camera: Canon EOS 550D
    Shooting Mode: Aperture-Priority AE
    Tv: 1/15
    Av: 2.8
    ISO Speed: 400
    Lens EF50mm f/1.4 USM
    Flash: On

    Many thanks for your advice and feedbacks!
    "Experience is how life catches up with us and teaches us to love and forgive each other."

  • #2
    Your problem on this image is not depth of field, it's shutter speed.

    Your 1/15th second exposure is very likely too long for you to get as clear a shot as technically possible. That slow of a shutter speed will pick up camera/hand held motion unless you have unnaturally superhuman steadiness.

    You either need to up your ISO or get more light onto the subject so that your shutterspeed is faster.

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    • #3
      ahh i see.. no wonder . i was afraid that when i use flash it'll be too bright for the subject's face.. definitely will have a go again with more light or higher ISO. thank you for your advice! i really appreciated it.
      "Experience is how life catches up with us and teaches us to love and forgive each other."

      Comment


      • #4
        I'd agree with what BigFuzzy said, quicker shutter speed = sharper images.

        Also about your focussing question:

        With this pic i'd have probably set my focus to single point (top middle) and focussed on the top eye... the eye below is more or less on the same focal plane and so if you get one eye in focus the chances are the other should follow suit.

        Have a quick read up on focal planes if you aren't aware of what they are or how the work.

        My best laymans explanation would be that if someone is face on to you then their eyes are both the same distance away from your camera and on the same focal plane, if they turn their head a bit to one side then one is closer to the camera then the other, so therefore on a different focal plane
        Newcastle Photography
        Newcastle Wedding Photography

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        • #5
          Hello! Where on here can I find a tutorial on focal planes?

          Thank you!
          Maria
          Canon EOS Digital Rebel Xti 400d
          70-200mm L Series, 50mm f1.8
          www.flickr.com/photos/photosbymaria
          www.photosbymaria.smugmug.com

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by MLM View Post
            Hello! Where on here can I find a tutorial on focal planes?

            Thank you!
            It's not so much that you need to learn about focal planes as it is about Depth of Field. Understanding DoF will allow you to understand the concept of focal planes.

            Having said that.. this is how I explain depth of field and focal planes to people.

            Imagine holding your camera to your face and focusing on someone a couple of meters away. If your camera has a wide aperture (ie small f/number like 2.8) imagine that the point where there is focus there is an imaginary sheet of paper of normal thickness. You are looking at the face of the paper (ie not the edge).

            As you change your focus, ie focus on things nearer or further away, the piece of paper goes with it.

            Only the things the paper touches are actually in focus. Anything not touched by the paper is outside the focal plane. This is shallow depth of field.

            So, if you have three people standing one in front of the other facing you and you focus on the middle one, the focal plane (ie piece of paper) is only intersecting parts of that middle person. Those are the only bits in focus.

            However, as you change your f/stop to be narrower (ie bigger number) the plane of focus gets thicker.. ie you have a wider depth of field meaning more items are in focus. Imagine that the paper getting thicker and thicker as you make the f/stop narrower (ie bigger #)... eventually the paper will be so thick that everything is in focus (ie infinity focus) and that would mean you have a very big f/number like f/32 or something like that.

            Now, something to keep in mind is that the focal plane (the piece of paper) is ALWAYS perpendicular to your lens. So, the focal plane is always flat moving away from your lens. If your subjects are not also exactly flat (ie side by side) just like the piece of paper, they risk falling outside the focal plane if it is very narrow (ie the thin piece of paper).

            So, even if your subjects look relatively close to each other (like two eyeballs) but are not exactly flat on the same focal plane and you're using a shallow depth of field (small f/number) they risk not being on the same focal plane and hence out of focus.

            If you want to correct for that you have to create a larger plane of focus or get them exactly even with the existing plane of focus.

            Phew... does that make sense?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by ajax_andy View Post
              I'd agree with what BigFuzzy said, quicker shutter speed = sharper images.

              Also about your focussing question:

              With this pic i'd have probably set my focus to single point (top middle) and focussed on the top eye... the eye below is more or less on the same focal plane and so if you get one eye in focus the chances are the other should follow suit.

              Have a quick read up on focal planes if you aren't aware of what they are or how the work.

              My best laymans explanation would be that if someone is face on to you then their eyes are both the same distance away from your camera and on the same focal plane, if they turn their head a bit to one side then one is closer to the camera then the other, so therefore on a different focal plane
              cool.. thanks for the advice! i've taken a few more pics and increased the shutter speed. much sharper images now!!
              "Experience is how life catches up with us and teaches us to love and forgive each other."

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by BigFuzzy View Post
                It's not so much that you need to learn about focal planes as it is about Depth of Field. Understanding DoF will allow you to understand the concept of focal planes.

                Having said that.. this is how I explain depth of field and focal planes to people.

                Imagine holding your camera to your face and focusing on someone a couple of meters away. If your camera has a wide aperture (ie small f/number like 2.8) imagine that the point where there is focus there is an imaginary sheet of paper of normal thickness. You are looking at the face of the paper (ie not the edge).

                As you change your focus, ie focus on things nearer or further away, the piece of paper goes with it.

                Only the things the paper touches are actually in focus. Anything not touched by the paper is outside the focal plane. This is shallow depth of field.

                So, if you have three people standing one in front of the other facing you and you focus on the middle one, the focal plane (ie piece of paper) is only intersecting parts of that middle person. Those are the only bits in focus.

                However, as you change your f/stop to be narrower (ie bigger number) the plane of focus gets thicker.. ie you have a wider depth of field meaning more items are in focus. Imagine that the paper getting thicker and thicker as you make the f/stop narrower (ie bigger #)... eventually the paper will be so thick that everything is in focus (ie infinity focus) and that would mean you have a very big f/number like f/32 or something like that.

                Now, something to keep in mind is that the focal plane (the piece of paper) is ALWAYS perpendicular to your lens. So, the focal plane is always flat moving away from your lens. If your subjects are not also exactly flat (ie side by side) just like the piece of paper, they risk falling outside the focal plane if it is very narrow (ie the thin piece of paper).

                So, even if your subjects look relatively close to each other (like two eyeballs) but are not exactly flat on the same focal plane and you're using a shallow depth of field (small f/number) they risk not being on the same focal plane and hence out of focus.

                If you want to correct for that you have to create a larger plane of focus or get them exactly even with the existing plane of focus.

                Phew... does that make sense?
                yep, makes perfect sense! hehe. focal plane was something i hadn't thought of since i started with photography. thanks much for highlighting that point to a newbie like me!
                "Experience is how life catches up with us and teaches us to love and forgive each other."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by BigFuzzy View Post
                  It's not so much that you need to learn about focal planes as it is about Depth of Field. Understanding DoF will allow you to understand the concept of focal planes.

                  Having said that.. this is how I explain depth of field and focal planes to people.

                  Phew... does that make sense?
                  absolutely and one of the best explanations I have read. This is something I have had a hard time keeping straight in my head..now I have a simple image that I can remember! F/ means 'field' and the bigger the number, the thicker the piece of paper...


                  Thank you!
                  Last edited by etexjess; 02-12-2012, 02:09 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I wander how you guys virtualize the focal plane??
                    1 line between eyes.. where is another point to form a triangle plane?
                    Technically how do you ensure your camera is 90 degree to the plane with same distance between eye-lens?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ccting View Post
                      I wander how you guys virtualize the focal plane??
                      1 line between eyes.. where is another point to form a triangle plane?
                      Technically how do you ensure your camera is 90 degree to the plane with same distance between eye-lens?
                      I JUST explained how to virtualize the focal plane in your mind.
                      There is no technical way to ensure that. You have to visualize it. This is one of the few concepts (ie visualizing a moving plane in 3d space) that I was sure you'd understand!

                      ccting.. you really need to start trying your best to step away from all this tecno mumble jumble and stop focusing on the .000001 of the question "why?" and think about the feeling part of it, becasuse:
                      A: Most people have no idea what you're talking about when you ask many of your questions, even if they know a lot about photography. Simply sloooow down. Start taking lots more images, focus on the basics (because all your posts have VERY basic errors) and worry about the .000001 of the issue when you're able to get basic things like composition/exposure right most of the time. You already bought like 3 flashes for off camera lighting and I've not seen you get ONE image "right" with simple available light or ONE flash.
                      B: All that time you spend on these thoughts (and subsequent long rambling posts) keeps you from actually shooting.
                      C: Your thoughts come from such strange places that it at times makes it look like you're actually trying to be annoying.. You often recommend things in critique section that are flat out wrong. You'd not believe how many PMs I've gotten about you simply because people have no f'ing clue what you're saying/doing. That's not good.

                      So, relax, stop thinking about the .00001 and start asking people about the artistic aspects of their decision making process. Start trying to feel the emotional aspects of the images and the 'feel' people are trying to put out there. And simply slow down and shoot more.

                      Don't want this to come off as anything but supportive because I love your enthusiasm.. but slow the hell down, please.
                      Last edited by BigFuzzy; 02-15-2012, 10:23 AM.

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