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Focus for Two

Tiara & Andrew performed at a Sofar concert at the Eubie Blake Cultural Center where I also shot photos of Jae Jin. I explained in the last post how the crappy lighting and the desire to be hidden created some frustrating circumstances for getting a fave photo. This time, I want to talk about perspective and focus. With two people to shoot on stage you’ve got to consider whether you want both people in focus or only one with the other blurred. When shooting straight on - it’s easy to keep them both in focus as they are on the same plane. Shooting from the side (hidden behind the grand piano so as not to distract from the performance), a decision has to be made. Having limited light plays into this decision. With more light, you can more easily keep them both in focus without having to increase the ISO (speed of film in traditional film cameras). I prefer this shot best with Tiara being in focus and Andrew being out of focus. This brings the attention to her as she sings with passion and keeps Andrew as more of a background element even though he is in the foreground.

Below are some other options playing with both in focus and Andrew in focus with Tiara blurred. Which do you prefer? Comment with your thoughts and questions.

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Using an f-stop of 2.8, there is a shallower depth of field - so the areas not in focus will become blurred.

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The smaller the number of the f-stop (so 1.4 is smaller than 2.8) the shallower the depth of field...meaning only a small part of the frame will be in focus and the rest blurry. So, if you want to get both folks in focus you may need to have an f-stop of 8.0 or higher...but to do that you need a lot more light or raise the ISO (which could cause less sharp of an will see pixelation possibly).

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