How do you keep multiple faces in focus?

mesmerized

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Mar 26, 2014
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Howdy,

When shooting street photos, how do you guys make sure that all people in the scene are in focus? Say you have a bunch of people hanging around a building you want to take a photo of and you don't want their faces to be all mushy and blurry. How would you handle a scenario like that?
 

mesmerized

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Mar 26, 2014
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  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
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Thank you. Hmm... I suppose that kind of method wouldn't work well in street photography when people are moving all the time?
 

davect01

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"F8 and be there" is an old rule that works most times. Just make sure to focus on a person in the front to the middle of the group depth wise, as focus DOF works 1/3 in front and 2/3 behind the focal point. Look up Hyperfocal focusing for more info.
Yup. If you have more than one subject that wonderful f1.8 just is not gonna work to get everyone in focus. F8 is there for a reason.
 

davect01

Super Moderator
Joined
Aug 20, 2011
Messages
8,365
Location
Fountain Hills, AZ
Real Name
Dave
"F8 and be there" is an old rule that works most times. Just make sure to focus on a person in the front to the middle of the group depth wise, as focus DOF works 1/3 in front and 2/3 behind the focal point. Look up Hyperfocal focusing for more info.
Yup. If you have more than one subject that wonderful f1.8 just is not gonna work to get everyone in focus. F8 is there for a reason.
 

Kirkp

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Nov 2, 2014
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182
There are many depth of field calculators and tables online. Here’s one.
https://www.dofmaster.com/doftable.html

If you have a depth of field table or have depth of field markings on your lens, you can make better choices for each scene than simply setting to f/8. You can learn how to use depth of field by practicing in a controlled setting, even a long kitchen table. Find five movable objects with sharp features. Put one in the center of the table, one on the end closest to you, one on the far end, then the other two between each pair to have five equally spaced objects. Focus on the center one. Take a photo with each aperture setting available on your lens, without changing the focus point. At the widest aperture only the center object will be in focus, but as the aperture closes down the depth of field will increase and the other objects will gradually come into focus. By looking at the depth of field table, you can predict when each object will come into acceptable focus.
 

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