Focusing a Self Portrait

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Battou, Nov 6, 2007.

  1. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    umm...may be a lame question but...

    How do you do that?


    I mean I am a talented individual and all, I can multitask with the best of'em but I can't be in two places at once and I don't the preset ranges on the lens enough (actually I don't trust my self to the mark distance wise) to utilaze that feature. Any advise on getting a sharp focus on a self portrait wile I am sitting home all alone.
     
  2. gizmo2071

    gizmo2071 TPF Noob!

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    Put something that is about your height where you will be standing/posing and focus on that.
    Then stand where that was.
    Maybe a lamp or something.

    Or you could get a remote that will focus and fire without you having to move.
     
  3. Manual focus. Use the little lines on the lens, those are distance markings ;-)
     
  4. gizmo2071

    gizmo2071 TPF Noob!

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    I'd have suggested that, but from readin his post I'm guessing his lens doesn't have the markings. I know my 50mm 1.8 doesn't.
     
  5. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I know this, but I am a bad judge of distance, I set it for ten feet in front and end up sitting twelve feet away :lmao:
     
  6. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    No, I have the markings, I just can't measure it out on foot, though I suppose worst case senario I could use a measuring tape and release cable.
     
  7. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thinking about this a little, you could let the camera autofocus for you, but then it may focus on something that you do not want.

    I will make a few assumptions here, if I may:

    - You want a bust portrait (head and shoulders)
    - You want to plant yourself in a consistant place by sitting on a stool
    - It would be some kind of studio setup where lighting and backdrop are controlled

    In the above scenario, I would lean a broom against the stool in such a way that the bottom (sweeping end) was sticking up and was at close to the height and distance of where my head would be. I would focus manually on the head of the broom (lean it back becuase you do not sit on the edge of the stool). Now it could be anything besides a broom, as long as it "stands" exactly where your "eyes" would be. By doing so, you fix the focus point to a consistant and known location. In other words once you are focused on the right part of the broom, you anchor yourself by sitting in the same loction where the stool is.

    Matter of fact, any method that gives you this info is all that you need. My suggestion above is how I, as an amateur, would overcome that issue.

    Taking the pictures, it is merely a question of using the timer or something like a Pocket Wizard to trigger the camera/flashes.

    Obviously, if you want a little more lattitude for focus error, increase the FOV by closing the aperture down to something like F/5 to F/8, then even if the focus us off a little, your face will still be in focus, but you lose the effect of adding a little pleasant bokeh to the picture.

    Overall an interesting exercise, I never thought to do that... I just may have to play with that a little... lol.
     
  8. Chris of Arabia

    Chris of Arabia Herding cats since 1988... Supporting Member

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    Decide where you want to be. Mark the spot on the floor with some masking tape. Put something suitably sized at the marked spot. Focus on it. Move suitably sized object. Go stand in same place. Trigger camera.
     
  9. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    Jerry is on point. Stop down as far as you can.
     
  10. jon_k

    jon_k TPF Noob!

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    Get a checkerboard pattern cloth and hang it where you will be standing. Remove cloth, stand.

    Or use the lens markings.

    I say checkerboard because you need CONTRAST for focus to work best. Contrast between checkerspots should be nice for the focusing algorithms to work. Might be easier to just get a black marker and draw them on a piece of paper.
     
  11. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Get a tape measure and listen to Iron. If it's worth doing,...
     
  12. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Before we go too much farther it should be known, I am using Manual only lenses, I do not have auto focus.

    That is a good Idea, I had not thought of that
     

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