Question about focusing for portraits for 2+ people

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by aliciaqw, Mar 28, 2010.

  1. aliciaqw

    aliciaqw TPF Noob!

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    When taking a portrait of more than one person, where should my focus be? I want some decent bokeh so I'm going to shoot around 2.8 or so with a fast shutter. Just not sure where I should place focus though,

    Thanks for your help!
     
  2. rallysman

    rallysman TPF Noob!

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    I think it depends on what the subject is, where it's placed, and how it's lit. Every shot is unique, I don't think anything other than experience will give you a solid answer. I'm no pro by any stretch of the imagination, but even a pro can't tell how the image looks in your head.
     
  3. aliciaqw

    aliciaqw TPF Noob!

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    Well, say I'm taking a picture of a brother and sister at the park, in the shade, and I want both of their faces in focus.
     
  4. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    For a standard type portrait, they both need to be in focus. But the fact of having two people doesn't mean much. They could both be the same distance from your camera and then you have no problem. If they are not, you need you need to adjust your settings as needed. It may not give you quite the bokeh you want but, as often in life, you have to compromise.

    If it is not a standard type portrait, your creativity is the only limit on how to do this.

    I realize this is probably not what you want to hear but there is no real way to answer this question. Sorry.
     
  5. maris

    maris TPF Noob!

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    The plane of focus should go through the eyes. If your subjects are different distances from the camera then you need an oblique plane of focus. That's what tilt lenses or view camera movements can achieve.
     
  6. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    I think you're using the term bokeh here, when you really mean depth-of-field. They aren't the same thing.

    Everyone else has covered all the other bases.
     
  7. aliciaqw

    aliciaqw TPF Noob!

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    Thanks everyone! I understand what you said about creativity and preference. Will try out a few things...
     
  8. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    You will need a smaller aperture F2.8 does not give you enough DOF, unless they are the same distance from your camera
     

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