Focusing and cropping

Because I have a photo shoot coming up (I’m not a professional but, I do take photos of friends and family upon request) I felt the need to practice on getting focused, sharp eyes. My quick practice photo shoot only produced one photo which gave me the clarity of Nora’s eyes and eyelashes I was looking for, but, I didn’t love the whole photo. I decided to crop the photo, revealing just one eye at a time, which produced a more interesting composition, to me. It was a simple reminder to try a different crop if you don’t like your photo as-is. Nothing rocket science in this morning’s practice session but, for this relative newbie to the technicalities of photography it was a good lesson in the simple art of cropping…and focusing!

Photo of Nora – uncropped:

Same photo, cropped left:

Nora's face- cropped left

Same photo, cropped right (this is my preferred crop):

Nora's face - cropped right

I thought I captured sharp, focused eyes in these photos, until I looked at them up close on the computer. The challenge here is the lens tends to focus on the bright, sparkly headband. Nora wears these a lot and I’ve continued to struggle with getting the lens to focus on her eyes instead of the blue headband. Still working on this one!!

Nora not really in the mood to be my model

Nora looking like Sandra Dee (she's watching "Handy Manny" here!)

What lens and settings I used for these photos:

I have three lenses for my old Olympus E-500 and I mostly have used my 40-150mm zoom lens for portraits but, this morning I had problems capturing clear, focused photos. It became clear to me that my zoom lens may be getting old and tired. Instead, I used my new 35mm macro prime lens for this morning’s practice session. It’s unorthodox to use a macro lens for portraits but, it gives me sharp, clear photos AND right now it appears to be the best lens I have! This morning’s practice session also was a good reminder to check all of your equipment before a photo shoot, with plenty of time to get new accessories, if necessary!

F-stop: 3.5, ISO-100, Exposure: 1/8
Taken inside our living room with lots of windows @ 11am on a cloudy day.

4 comments on “Focusing and cropping

  1. scaleagency says:

    I like your photograph of Nora un-cropped. The challenge with post production; such as cropping, you want to make sure that it’s clean. As a suggestion, crop the image of Nora evenly down the center. Overall, you have some really beautiful shots of Nora. Keep shooting.


  2. meelswa says:

    Not sure why I don’t like the photo uncropped. To me, maybe because I don’t think it’s a very flattering photo of her? That’s why photography is art, right? Very subjective.

    I love learning and improving my photography skills (shooting and post production.) I really appreciate your feedback. Thanks for stopping by!


  3. meelswa says:

    BTW – when I showed Nora this blog post, she did NOT like the cropped versions. “I don’t like them…my other eye is missing!”


  4. KJ says:

    the outtakes are great, too, meels! she’s such a doll…


The good, the bad, the ugly...I can take it. Talk at me! :)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s