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Hoping to get some tips on photographing two subjects sitting across each other a table (the table is maybe 2 feet long). They’ll be at the same distance from the camera just a few feet away from each other so just wondering how to keep them both in focus but still isolate the background. Putting the focus on one subject will probably cause the other to be out of focus, which I obviously don’t want. I know I can up my aperture to f8-f11 but thought I’d check if there’s any other options here.

I’ll be shooting with a 35mm f/1.4 lens btw.

Thanks so much! -d

  • Good ways to separate people from background include installing a backdrop for a background. A simple piece of fabric can do the trick. – user50888 Dec 4 '17 at 3:10
  • Here's what happens if you try to focus in between them. – Michael C Dec 4 '17 at 11:22
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They’ll be at the same distance from the camera...

If they're the same distance from the camera focusing on either one will bring both into focus.

That is, unless you are using a tilt/shift lens or other camera/lens where the optical axis is not perpendicular to the camera's imaging plane.

There are also some esoteric lenses with what is known as field curvature where if both subjects are at equal distance from the camera but one is in the center of the frame and the other one is on the edge of the frame one might be slightly more focused than the other. But even with one of these such lenses, if both subjects are the same distance from the camera and both subjects are the same distance from the center in your framing, they should both be equally in focus.

  • People are messy. The ear of one subject and the nose of the other could be the same distance from the camera and focusing on one won't put the other in focus @f1.4 in a way that an average viewer would consider both people in focus. – user50888 Dec 4 '17 at 3:06
  • @benrudgers If they're both facing each other as described in the question and they're both the same distance from the camera as described in the question then, unless one has a significantly larger head than the other, the corresponding parts of each subject will be close enough to the same distance from the camera. Using a 35mm f/1.4 at a distance large enough to include two faces and a table between them as described in the question is going to give much more DoF than a tight head shot of one person at 85mm and f/1.4. – Michael C Dec 4 '17 at 5:51

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