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01-12-2014, 05:09 PM   #1
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Focusing rule question

I posted the picture of my cat for critique on some forum, and pretty much expected what I may hear.
And yes, I should have focused on eyes, not on nose. I've heard that rule many times there, but wonder is it really the rule? So, every time should I focus on eyes?

01-12-2014, 05:17 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by micromacro Quote
I posted the picture of my cat for critique on some forum, and pretty much expected what I may hear.
And yes, I should have focused on eyes, not on nose. I've heard that rule many times there, but wonder is it really the rule? So, every time should I focus on eyes?
"The eyes are the window to the soul" so generally the subject of a portrait should have shape eyes.

Check it out by looking at portraits, or taking some of yourself and see what you feel.

Regards

Chris
01-12-2014, 05:36 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by seventhdr Quote
Check it out by looking at portraits, or taking some of yourself and see what you feel.
Chris, but the sharpest (focusing) point is the point to bring attention, right?
Must be the eyes on photo portrait in focus all the time? In painting it's possible to bring "focus" (attention) to anything, lips for example leaving some parts sketchy, blurry, etc.
So, the good photo portrait is only on eye focus portrait?
01-12-2014, 06:16 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by micromacro Quote
Chris, but the sharpest (focusing) point is the point to bring attention, right?
Must be the eyes on photo portrait in focus all the time? In painting it's possible to bring "focus" (attention) to anything, lips for example leaving some parts sketchy, blurry, etc.
So, the good photo portrait is only on eye focus portrait?
If you want to draw attention to the lips, by all means use selective focus to do so, but leave the eyes out of the frame if you do.


Steve

01-12-2014, 06:41 PM   #5
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Generally one expects the eyes to be in focus, and if not then it usually looks wrong, hence the rule. But one cannot say it's always the case. If you feel it needs to be otherwise, then by all means do otherwise.

While rules sometimes work for the best, it is also often the case that the better pictures break the rules--or better said don't follow rules.
01-12-2014, 06:56 PM   #6
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It's your picture.

I prefer the eyes in focus but you don't take a picture for me.
01-12-2014, 06:56 PM   #7
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Rules are mean't to be broken. Nothing can move forward if we follow other people's rules all the time.
Experimentation leads to discovery, discovery leads to a new style.

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man." ~George Bernard Shaw
01-12-2014, 07:07 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steve.Ledger Quote
Rules are mean't to be broken. Nothing can move forward if we follow other people's rules all the time.
Experimentation leads to discovery, discovery leads to a new style.
It's the truth. Do what you like.


But the rule is a suggestion because the eyes are good centering point. You'll get enough DoF in the front to put the eyes in focus and enough in the back to keep the back of the head in focus too. If you focus on the nose, the DoF to the front will go to waste and you'll only focus as far back as the eyes, putting the rest of the head out of focus.

The eyes are also a good focusing point on people because they contain a lot of detail. Noses, for instance, do not. If the nose is slightly out of focus, then you won't notice as much as if the eyes are.

01-12-2014, 10:39 PM   #9
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If I am your customer and I say 'focus on the eyes', then yes, it's the rule.

If on the other hand I'm just some random idiot with internet access, you have no reason to feel you must follow my 'rules'.

My only rule is 'no cat pictures on the forums'
01-13-2014, 06:12 AM   #10
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01-13-2014, 07:32 AM   #11
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For me, the eyes of any critter or person should be in focus, unless you have a good reason to do so. "Good reason" will be subjective.

In the event that the focus will be on something else, I also generally want the eyes to be far enough out of focus (or out of the frame entirely as Steve suggested) that it looks like a deliberate choice, and not an accident. "Kinda in focus eyes" will end up being a shoddy focal point.
01-13-2014, 08:20 AM   #12
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Thank you, guys.
That's much informative than just "follow the rules".
Not like my picture is perfect (far from it), or I was upset by critique, but I expected to hear some constractive explanations like yours.
Yes, this forum feels like "old school". In the best meaning, of course.
01-14-2014, 05:16 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by micromacro Quote
I posted the picture of my cat for critique on some forum, and pretty much expected what I may hear.
And yes, I should have focused on eyes, not on nose. I've heard that rule many times there, but wonder is it really the rule? So, every time should I focus on eyes?
No, you focus on whatever you want to be in focus.
01-15-2014, 01:05 AM   #14
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One other point is that if you think about the eyes position on any head they have the nose and jaw in front and the back of the head with hair behind. With the narrow depth of field a fast aperture gives you if the eyes are right the front / back focus area will " look" right.

Just like a blown out sky looks wrong but shadows with no detail don't bug us out of focus eyes do .
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