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Old Dec 22, 2010, 10:45 AM   #1
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Default 4 Brothers

My sister in law has 4 boys. She purchased a picture frame that holds 4 photos. She called me and asked me to help her out.

So I had about 2 hours to come up with 4 decent shots.

Here we go, oldest to youngest.

C&C please (the mom is not a member of Steves!)

Merry Christmas!

Faithfully Yours,
FP
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Old Dec 22, 2010, 10:47 AM   #2
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Default Cam

Cam, third in line.
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Old Dec 22, 2010, 10:49 AM   #3
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Fourth son. Talk about a kid that will crack you up! He's a big, big joker.
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Old Dec 22, 2010, 10:56 AM   #4
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Default Second oldest

Finally..... the file was too big and the upload failed.

Here's the second oldest boy.

FP
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Old Dec 22, 2010, 11:31 AM   #5
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I like the poses and the lighting. But focus in 1 and 3 is off a bit - and with shallow dof it makes a difference. The faces are just not as sharp as in 2 & 4. It's most noticable in shot 1 - look at his smile, it just isn't sharp.
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Old Dec 22, 2010, 12:15 PM   #6
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John,

Thanks for your comment regarding photo #1.

Here's what was going on and maybe you can help.

I was using a 70-200 Canon lens. The camera has eight (?) focal points when I look thru the lens. I shot this in portrait orientation.

When I tried to focus on his face, that auto-focus would not focus. It searched and searched but couldn't focus. But as soon as I changed the camera red dot focal point, to the brown jacket, the AF immediately locked up and I was able to shoot.

I know that the best answer would have been, use manual focus. I do not trust my eyesight for several medical reasons. So AF is a must for me.

Why would a camera fail to focus on the boy's face in this photo? There was enough light to shoot without a flash had I elected to boost the ISO. So there should have been enough light for the AF to work.

I'm puzzled. What happened?

120mm, ISO 400, f4, 1/200, shot from a tripod, flash compuslory.

Last edited by FaithfulPastor; Dec 22, 2010 at 12:18 PM.
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Old Dec 22, 2010, 12:36 PM   #7
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Default Another from that session

John

In this photo, everything was the same except the focal length. I shot this at 70mm not, 120mm. Still f4.0, ISO 400, 1/200, flash compulsory.

I have not cropped this shot yet. But I think the shorter focal length has helped to increase the dof, thereby making his face sharper.

What do you think of it?

As always, your insights are incredibly helpful.

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Old Dec 22, 2010, 1:11 PM   #8
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I wish I had a good explanation. You'r using 430ex right? I can't remember how the focus assist beam works with that flash - it may be that it only illuminates at the center and that could be why center worked but off-center did not. Something to investigate - but I doubt the assist beam covers all the points regardless of flash.

If you're using a tripod, you might want to start trying out live view - I don't use it, but it's probably a better option than manual focus.

As to the looser framed shot - I actually like that shot with the amp and more of the wall - I think it works well. I wouldn't necessarily say the face is sharper because of DOF - it might be - just can't tell with post-sized images. But the face is smaller in the frame so less noticable if his face isn't critically sharp.
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Old Dec 22, 2010, 1:18 PM   #9
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Autofocus systems, in general, tend to pick the part with greatest contrast for focus. In this case, the lettering on his shirt provides that. What you could do, is use spot focus on faces, then lock focus/exposure, and recompose the shot. If your camera allows selecting focus points, you could pick the point corresponding to the face, and use it.
It's a lot to deal with sometimes, though, if your models get fidgety.

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Old Dec 22, 2010, 1:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VTphotog View Post
Autofocus systems, in general, tend to pick the part with greatest contrast for focus. In this case, the lettering on his shirt provides that. What you could do, is use spot focus on faces, then lock focus/exposure, and recompose the shot. If your camera allows selecting focus points, you could pick the point corresponding to the face, and use it.
It's a lot to deal with sometimes, though, if your models get fidgety.

brian
Brian - the problem was the OP was using single focus point. When he selected a non-center point the camera could not achieve focus. But it could with center point. Now, it could be a contrast issue. But as I mentioned, if the OP is using a flash the center point is illuminated by assist beam but outer points are not. That could be contributing as well. I also would have to look at the specs for the 5dII - it could be that the off-center focus point he tried was not as sensitive so the more sensitive focus point worked where the less sensitive point did not.

Focus/recompose might be an option though - although it's a pain when using a tripod.
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