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07-31-2009, 10:25 PM   #1
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Focusing with multiple subjects

I have had a hard time getting everybody in focus when they are spread apart. Do I use manual focus for those shots and pick someone in the middle or do I choose autofocus and let the camera do its "best" job? Or is it the aperture that makes everyone in those shots in focus? I am sure there are many things to factor in.
Here is the link to a photo that I like. It is the 7th photo down, the one with the bride and groom on the right and the other couples. I love how they are all spread apart but how would I take a shot like this and still have everyone in focus?
Here is the link: http://www.melissakoehlerblog.com/?p=1902

I can't wait to read your feedback!


Last edited by creoleart; 08-02-2009 at 01:20 PM.
07-31-2009, 10:31 PM   #2
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Quite big of a overexposure on the first shot I don't know myself, but to give it a try I think maybe taking multiple shots and combining them so everybody is in focused.
07-31-2009, 10:34 PM   #3
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The smaller the aperture (high numbers) the greater the DOF. F/8 and F/11 are going to be your best friends as this is where you get the best image quality from the lenses. F/16 is ok to but after that quality can be degraded. Try shooting in AV mode, you set the aperture, the camera will do the rest for you.
From that first photo, I'd be more worried about exposure, look how blown out the sky is.
Was this a paid shoot? If so, you need to be careful, word gets around. If not, I apologise for the question.
Probably one of the best books out there is 'Understanding Exposure' by Bryan Peterson, I'd recommend you getting a copy and curling up with it. It will really help you get the best out of your camera.
07-31-2009, 11:01 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Damn Brit Quote
Was this a paid shoot? If so, you need to be careful, word gets around. If not, I apologise for the question.
Heavens no! I have never shot a wedding, but I do have my first one at the end of this month so I was browsing the net for some poses ideas!! I do think it is creative though and slightly different from the traditional shots. I would love to try it, so I wanted to see how we can achieve that and do it right, and expose it right too! I doubt that I will do it on my first wedding though, unless I am sure I can get it right!

I will try the AV mode and see what happens. So then you would put your point of focus on the couple in the middle in manual focusing?


Last edited by creoleart; 08-02-2009 at 01:21 PM.
08-01-2009, 12:01 AM   #5
Damn Brit
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Sorry, I misread some of your first post. My comments still apply though.

I would actually focus on the couple who had just got married. They're paying so they better bloody well be in focus. DOF covers roughly one third in front and two thirds behind based on distance to subject. Here's a link to a DOF calculator - http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html memorise or take notes and learn to judge distances if you can.
Applying some + or - ev adjustment depending on the situation would be a good idea.
From a metering point of view you would want exposure set for somewhere between the sky and the dark suit.
Shooting in RAW allows you to blow out the highlights some and rescue them in PP.
Looking at where the sun is and organising the subjects accordingly or getting yourself in the right position helps a lot.

I still recommend that book, you won't be disappointed.

Last edited by Damn Brit; 08-01-2009 at 12:25 AM.
08-01-2009, 12:13 AM   #6
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you could use live view, or digital preview for dof. Or optical preview when you feel confident.
Optical preview is a nice way to see the effect of closing the aperture.
08-01-2009, 01:08 AM   #7
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Good advice already given.
f/8 and be there is also a decent principle to follow if in doubt, focusing on the 'middle ground' subject.
Otherwise, more practice and reading up on DOF is highly recommended, and you'll find Brian Peterson's book (another plug for him) a great resource.
08-01-2009, 08:30 AM   #8
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thanks guys! That book must be a good resource indeed! It is checked out at all the libraries in my area!! I won't get it until the 10th, I can't wait to read it!

08-01-2009, 11:31 PM   #9
Damn Brit
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QuoteOriginally posted by creoleart Quote
thanks guys! That book must be a good resource indeed! It is checked out at all the libraries in my area!! I won't get it until the 10th, I can't wait to read it!
You'll probably end up buying it. I haven't read my copy but just having it makes you a better photographer.
08-02-2009, 04:13 AM   #10
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It's actually quite a quick and easy read when you get into it.
Well worth the money to have as a resource for future reference.
08-02-2009, 06:13 AM   #11
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Sandrine,

Go to Google and look up
HYPERFOCAL DISTANCE
I think you will find all the right answeres to your question/problem.
There are also excellent charts that you can download free.

Mickey
08-05-2009, 10:40 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by creoleart Quote
thanks guys! That book must be a good resource indeed! It is checked out at all the libraries in my area!! I won't get it until the 10th, I can't wait to read it!
Bryan Peterson also has one titled "Understand Speed", and it is good also. I have both, and they are worth the $$$.
08-05-2009, 06:59 PM   #13
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Ver good advices already given.
Nothing more to add except when in doubt go down to F22 or more!
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