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[GF2] Taking an family shots with Manual Focus?

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by timothysoong, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. timothysoong

    timothysoong Mu-43 Veteran

    217
    Aug 10, 2011
    Taipei, Taiwan
    I've been having troubles with taking family pictures, or should I use autofocus instead of manual focus?

    For example a picture which I randomly googled up:
    http://www.singingchef.net/images/family dinner.jpg

    For example I'm standing on the edge of the table(which is at the bottom as shown on the picture).

    And well, if I were to use Manual Focus, where should I manually focused on? Cause it seems wherever I focused on the remaining people will get blurred I can't seem to take the whole image with only the background being blurred.. Or should I just use autofocus instead and use the facetracking mode?

    Thanks in advance

    Tim
     
  2. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    It looks to me more of a motion blur problem than a focus problem.

    That said, you need to search and learn about depth of field. Something you never had to worry about with a compact, is now an artistic choice, and you need to know how/when to take advantage of it.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. timothysoong

    timothysoong Mu-43 Veteran

    217
    Aug 10, 2011
    Taipei, Taiwan
    did a research, read about a lil, so basically to adjust or control depth of field its about switching up the aperture.. However for example if Im using GF2.. And I'm taking a group photo, I lowered the aperture(higher f-stop number) so the it'd be less blurry(which certainly improves the photo).. If I were to do a manual focus where do I put the focus mainly on?
     
  4. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Usually 1/3 of the way into the scene, but with enough DOF, it doesn't really matter. Now that you understand DOF a little, read up on "hyperfocal distance" - while it doesn't really apply in these situations, it will give you a better idea about what happens when you focus at different distances

    Keep in mind that smaller aperture (larger f/stop number) will make motion blur worse.

    Understanding Exposure by Bryan Petersen is a great book to show the interaction of aperture, shutter speed, and ISO; and how the different choices will affect the image
     
    • Like Like x 2
  5. timothysoong

    timothysoong Mu-43 Veteran

    217
    Aug 10, 2011
    Taipei, Taiwan
    Okay, thanks.. And I'll check out the book..

    btw, i just found time earlier today so I read about the hyperfocal distance, I don't get the main part here "The fraction of the depth of field which is in front of the focal plane approaches 1/2 for the closest focus distances, and decreases all the way to zero by the time the focus distance reaches the hyperfocal distance".

    Mind making it simpler for me to understand? Thanks..
     
  6. Dan Ka

    Dan Ka Mu-43 Regular

    128
    Jan 11, 2011
    Northeastern Ohio
  7. ripleys baby

    ripleys baby Straw clutcher

    609
    Aug 10, 2011
    App

    If you are an iphone owner, check out Simple Dof on the app store.
    Totally useful app .:thumbup:
     
  8. Tom Swaman

    Tom Swaman Mu-43 Veteran

    FWIMBW, I fully agree with TC!!!!! You actually have a good snapshot with motion blur. Were I in your shoes, i.e. trying to photograph a large group as you did, I would use a tripod and a remote release and forget about all of the DOF stuff. Yours is a snapshot, not an art photo. Frankly, please know that you truly did a good job wxcwpt for motion.

    Best regards,
    Tom
     
  9. sprinke

    sprinke Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 5, 2011
    Pasadena, CA
    Debi
    I agree with Tom Swaman and ~tc~. Motion blur is your problem here. If you notice, everything on the table looks pretty focused; it's just the people who are moving. Stopping down the aperture in this case, which would give you greater depth of field, is actually going to work AGAINST you and cause more motion blurring when photographing people indoors. Your only solution is to get MORE LIGHT in the scene. You will have to either: 1) use flash, 2) use a higher ISO so you can get a shorter shutter speed.
     
  10. Dan Ka

    Dan Ka Mu-43 Regular

    128
    Jan 11, 2011
    Northeastern Ohio
    I don't think the attachment was the original poster's snapshot due to "randomly googled"
    So his question is IF he were to have this situation where would HE focus to get a similar shot. Which is a DOF question. Depends on his f-stop, focal length of lens, ISO, shutter speed, and lighting - ambient or flash. It is a good shot, but, it is not his.

    NB: I may be all wrong about the above.:smile:
     
  11. Tom Swaman

    Tom Swaman Mu-43 Veteran

    Dan,

    Good catch. If you are correct, than he should best use the role of thirds mentioned earlier and focus as close to 1/3 of the distance into his total photo depth.

    I disagree with the commennt made earlier about using flash as I doubt he could ever achieve uniform illumination using flash for a snapshot such as that shown. The uneven and or tailing off of the light would most likely render this snapshot far more unattractive than if it is shot in available light. Assuming he sdoes not intend to enlarge the final i,age excessively, I would suggest he use a tripod with the Panasonic remote trigger and increase his ISO if he needs more shutter speed and cannot open his aperture, He can even remove some of the excessive grain if need be in PP. There are plenty of folks who can and will do this for him these days at a very reasonable cost.

    Best regards,
    Tom