How to focus a portrait: get pin-sharp eyes in 3 easy steps

How to focus a portrait: 02 Select the focus point

Learn how to focus a portrait and capture pin-sharp eyes with our simple step-by-step tutorial and expert camera focusing techniques.

How to focus a portrait: get pin-sharp eyes in 3 easy steps

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.

SEE MORE: A layman’s guide to depth of field – how to check and affect sharpness like a pro

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.

SEE MORE: 10 portrait photography mistakes every photographer makes (and how to avoid them)

How to focus a portrait: 01 Focus on the eyes

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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