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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Scott Ramsey's Avatar

    People and pets together

    When you take a portrait of a dog and its human, where is your focal point? I am using single point focusing and usually focus on the dog's eyes, however, would it be better to focus on the person's eyes? What about when you have multiple subjects in a shot, where do you focus? I always try and get them on the same plane and stop down the aperture when appropriate but just wondering what others might do. Thanks!


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    Last edited by Scott Ramsey; 03-22-2018 at 04:11 PM.



  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Horoscope Fish's Avatar

    Re: People and pets together

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Ramsey View Post
    When you take a portrait of a dog and its human, where is your focal point? I am using single point focusing and usually focus on the dog's eyes, however, would it be better to focus on the person's eyes? What about when you have multiple subjects in a shot, where do you focus? I always try and get them on the same plane and stop down the aperture when appropriate but just wondering what others might do. Thanks!
    I'll preface this by saying Face Detection is a wonderful thing. Enable it if your camera body supports it.

    To answer your question more directly, assuming both dog and handler are of equal importance in the shot, I would put my focus on the nearer or the two subjects and let depth of field handle the rest. I can envision wanting to use a shallow DoF to emphasize one over the other, however, depending on the type of shot I'm after. For instance I might focus one way for a standard, "This is Bob and his awesome dog Fido" type of shot, and a different way entirely if I was shooting a shelter dog portrait who's handler needs to be in the shot.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Scott Ramsey's Avatar

    Re: People and pets together

    Quote Originally Posted by Horoscope Fish View Post
    I'll preface this by saying Face Detection is a wonderful thing. Enable it if your camera body supports it.

    To answer your question more directly, assuming both dog and handler are of equal importance in the shot, I would put my focus on the nearer or the two subjects and let depth of field handle the rest. I can envision wanting to use a shallow DoF to emphasize one over the other, however, depending on the type of shot I'm after. For instance I might focus one way for a standard, "This is Bob and his awesome dog Fido" type of shot, and a different way entirely if I was shooting a shelter dog portrait who's handler needs to be in the shot.
    Thanks Paul, that makes sense focusing on the front person/dog and using aperture to get the rest in focus. With face detection, which my D810 does have I am assuming that it would show preference to the person/people in the shot and you would again have to use DOF to get the pet.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Scott Ramsey's Avatar

    Re: People and pets together

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Ramsey View Post
    Thanks Paul, that makes sense focusing on the front person/dog and using aperture to get the rest in focus. With face detection, which my D810 does have I am assuming that it would show preference to the person/people in the shot and you would again have to use DOF to get the pet.
    It appears that the 810 as well as my 610 only has face detection in live view.





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