Featured Photo – Focusing On The Eyes, Deer!

Never run away from a pun, I always say.

I’m featuring a photo of a deer today, but as is so often the case, with some information.

Someone looking at a photograph of a person or animal often keys in on the eye.  So as photographers, one thing we can do to create a more captivating image is to focus the camera on the eyes, particularly with portraits.

It’s even effective when photographing deer.

Deer - Northern California

If the eyes of a subject are not sharp, it psychologically takes away from the viewer’s enjoyment of the photo since many of us naturally gravitate toward the eyes, particularly in portraiture.

For a particularly silly example, but hopefully one that still makes its point, here’s another example:

Wooden Deer

A redwood deer, sure, but nonetheless, still focusing on the eyes. 50mm f/1.4 Nikkor lens showing off its buttery bokeh.

If you are shooting wide open (with large openings of f/1.4 or thereabouts), focus on the closest eye, but still, try and get both eyes on the same plane if you want both eyes in focus.  To control the focus, I will often change the focus points in the camera rather than focusing and recomposing.  And I generally use auto-focus for portraits.

The Window

The Window. This photo of this lovely girl has both eyes in focus, but was taken with a small compact camera, illustrating that you don’t always need to bring your heavier, more expensive camera with you, especially for travel photography.  Brazil, summer 2009, taken with the Leica version of the Panasonic Lumix LX3 (see link below).  The main difference?  The Panasonic is considerably cheaper in price.

Equipment:  Nikon D90, 18-200mm VR Nikkor lens


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