Learn how to focus a portrait and capture pin-sharp eyes with our simple step-by-step tutorial and expert camera focusing techniques.
Portrait photography often means using a wide aperture and longer focal lengths to create a shallow depth of field, throwing the background out of focus.
This makes focusing more important than usual, as sharpness is captured across a very narrow plane, often of just an inch or two.
On top of this, you have a moving subject, so focusing on precisely the right point at precisely the right moment is crucial.
Follow these focusing tips for perfectly sharp portraits every time.
How to focus a portrait: 01 Focus on the eyes
The eyes are the most vital element of a portrait, so it’s essential to record them sharply, particularly if you’re using a wide aperture.
Some photographers like to focus using the central focus point and then recompose, while others will set an off-centre focus point.
Whatever method you choose, those peepers need to be pin-sharp. If the focus is off, it’s usually only by a whisker, so don’t be fooled into thinking you’ve got it right just by glancing at the LCD screen.
Review the image properly by zooming in on the eyes to make sure they’re sharp.
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