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Portrait Photography Tips: The Eyes

I spent a whole year taking photos of my baby and one thing that quickly became apparent was the difference between eyes being in focus and eyes that weren't and the effect on the photo. Although we're almost taught to break the rules I still believe the eyes are just as important in Lomography.

Photo by veato

In photography and particularly Lomography there is always an argument to break the rules. Lomography in fact teaches us to not conform and whilst I’m happy to break the rules, when it comes to portraiture there is one guideline I can’t do without.

The eyes are said to be the window into a person’s soul. They can draw you in to a portrait and reveal a lot about the person being photographed. For this reason it’s important to ensure the eyes are in focus and sharp.

Depending on your camera model there are things you can do to help getting the eyes nice and sharp.

  1. Using a single focus point when auto focussing e.g. centre point and locking this on the eye before recomposing
  2. Using manual focus to fine tune the focus
  3. Stopping down the aperture to allow for a greater depth of field and hence more chance the eye will be in focus

It’s not always necessary that the model is looking directly down the camera lens but even if not the eyes again should be sharp. This is going to produce a much more appealing portrait than if for example the hair or the nose is focussed on, particularly when using a wide aperture for a shallow depth of field.

There are of course exceptions to the rule, for example when you want to be more creative or portray a specific emotion. In these instances you might choose to deliberately not make the eye the focal point of the portrait or have the eyes in the photo at all!

written by veato

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This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: Italiano, Português, 中文(简体版), Français, 한국어, 中文(繁體版), Deutsch & ภาษาไทย.