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Old Sep 14, 2009, 3:22 PM   #1
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Default How to focus on multiple faces?

I was at kids birthday party yesterday and had a difficult time to focus on multiple faces in a group shot.

1/50, f/4.7, 24mm (48mm eq), ISO200



1/50, f/4.5, 16mm (32mm eq), ISO100




I would like to see each faces at least like this in terms of sharpness.




- Hiro

Last edited by hiro1963; Sep 14, 2009 at 3:49 PM.
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Old Sep 14, 2009, 3:53 PM   #2
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Hiro, the key is to ensure you have enough DOF for the entire group to be in focus.
My preference is to focus on the subject that is middle distant.
For this shot in particular, things are pretty simple as the kids aren't very far apart, depth of field wise. So focusing on the girl in the center will provide sharp results provided your aperture, focal length and physical distance profide sufficient DOF. Also, for groups I will err on the side of too-much DOF - I'd rather have less background blur and sharp subjects vs. blurred background and a subject that isn't sharp.

Here's a link to an online depth-of-field calculater so you can start getting an idea of what dof will be with your specific equipment. In reality, you'll develop a feel over time for how narrow you need to make the aperture to get your subjects suitably sharp.
http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html

One caveat - the "wider" the group spread the more you have to account for the fact people on the ends are further away from you than people at the center so when you have a longer line of people you'll want to stop down a bit more to ensure those on the edge are sharp.
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Old Sep 14, 2009, 4:22 PM   #3
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JohnG-

Thanks for your advice and the link! I bookmarked it! And that's so true about your comment.

"Also, for groups I will err on the side of too-much DOF - I'd rather have less background blur and sharp subjects vs. blurred background and a subject that isn't sharp".


Now, I cannot wait for the next kids party.

Thanks again!


- Hiro
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