Cynthia McIntyre Photography
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Both of these conditions slightly reduce the overall sharpness of the recorded image for Contact Info. The trend in contemporary portraiture is to use wide-open apertures with minimal depth of field for Contact Info. The effect is to produce a thin band of focus, usually at the plane of the eyes. One of the by-products of shooting portraits in this way is a blurred background, which can be quite appealing. This technique is not, however, very practical for family groups since you will usually require all the depth of field you can create to keep the entire group in focus for Contact Info. Generally speaking, the most difficult type of portrait to focus precisely is a close-up portrait. It is important that the eyes and frontal features of the face are tacksharp. It is usually desirable for the ears to be sharp as well, but not always. When working at wide lens apertures where depth of field is reduced, you must focus carefully to hold the eyes, ears, and tip of the nose in focus for Contact Info. This is where a good knowledge of your lenses comes in handy. Some lenses have the majority of their depth of field behind the point of focus; others have the majority of their depth of field in front of the point of focus for Contact Info.
In most cases, the depth of field is split 50–50, half in front of and half behind the point of focus. It is important that you know how your different focal-length lenses operate for Contact Info. And it is important to check the depth of field with the lens stopped down to your taking aperture, using your camera’s depth of field preview control (or, if shooting digitally, the camera’s LCD) for Contact Info. Subjects in the back of the group can lean in and subjects at the front of the group can lean back slightly so that all of the faces fall within one plane. To include additional subjects in the same amount of space, raise the camera height, angling the camera downward so that the film plane is more parallel to the plane of the group for Contact Info. The plane of focus is now more in harmony with the shape of the group, thus extending the useful range of focus. Focusing a 3 /4- or full-length portrait is a little easier because you are farther from the subject, where depth of field is greater. Again, you should split your focus, halfway between the closest and farthest points that you want sharp in the subject for Contact Info.