This week’s theme is everything in focus. This is actually a challenge for me as I tend to use a fairly shallow depth of field, meaning not a lot is in focus. I had a hard time finding some examples from my work and some of these are slightly out of focus in the foreground or background, but they get the general idea across. Trying to control where the viewer’s eye goes without using focus (or out of focus areas) as a way of doing so is quite a challenge for many portrait photographers. Check out some examples below followed by some tech and artistic tips.
Here are some tips on getting everything in focus without totally confusing your viewer:
- In terms of the technical side of getting everything pretty much in focus, do some combination of these things: use a wide angle lens (less than 50mm), don’t get too close to your subject, don’t have anything very close to your lens as it will tend to go out of focus, use a higher/narrower aperture (f8 or higher). Experiment to see what works best for you.
- Since everything is in focus, you can’t rely on blurring certain parts of the image to draw the eye to your subject or blurring out distractions and messes. You should pay extra close attention to the background to make sure it doesn’t distract from what you want people to see. Be careful of things intersecting your subject. If you can, include only things that add to the story you’re trying to tell.
- Use compositional techniques to control where the eye goes. Some to try that we’ve already discussed: symmetry and leading lines. One we haven’t discussed is framing, which is using a window, door, mirror, or any other objects to create a “frame” around your subject.
- You can also use a high angle or low angle to remove or hide distractions.
- You can also draw the eye to your subject with lighting or colour. For example, having the subject lit by a spot light or a subject in bright clothing in front of a dull background.
- Landscape photographers often have everything in focus in wide angle photos, but should still be conscious of the entire contents of the frame, especially anything that may stand out due to colour, size, or lighting.
If you have any questions, join us in the Facebook group. I’ll be checking in there daily to see your work and help you achieve the best results.
If you’re just finding this now, you can check out the full list and more information on the challenge here. You can follow me on Instagram at @documentyourdaytoday and use the hashtag #documentyour2021.