What's wrong with this photo? The fix...

Hello all!

It Thursday, and I'm here with the fix for this photo:

If you said "the eyes should be in focus", you are correct. As a rule of thumb, when photographing faces, the eyes should be tack sharp. The eyes are the window to the soul, so they are the most important element, and therefore deserve the honor of being shown off as crystal clear in the photo.

However, consider this photo:

I think having the nose be perfectly in focus 'works'.

The little lesson, or tip, I was going for sounds simple, keep it in focus.

As far as I know, there is no program that can fix this. If you have a blurry photo, sometimes black and white or sepia can make it look ok, especially if you make it look old by adding grain or other filters/effects. But, the thing is, only you can prevent blur...and forest fires. Our eyes immediately see what is in focus and our brains tell us this is the most important part of the photo.

Of course, that is where you come in, as the photographer. Perhaps you want to show the texture of the dog's nose, or perhaps you want to show the dog's perspective, which is, as Patience pointed out, for a dog life is all about scent. :)

J9 asked about f-stops to change depth of field. Shallow DOF (the black and white photo) is achieved with big f-stops, so the small numbers. If you want more of the background in focus use a small aperture, so a small f-stop, or the bigger numbers.

DOF is important to consider when you are deciding which part of the photo is most important. For cameras that don't allow you to choose your aperture (f-stop) then just make sure the focus bracket is locked on the part you want perfectly sharp.

I think that the reason the focus on the nose in Sasha's portrait (the brown dog) is because her eyes aren't blurred enough. Look at Moonbeam's eyes (the other dog), they are so blurry, you can tell I was trying to get his nose. But, Sasha's eyes look like crappy focus, which that was exactly the case!

So, this week's tip: keep the most important aspect of the photo in sharp focus. If you have a camera that allows you to choose the aperture, go wild! Try photographing the exact same subject at each aperture, you'll be amazed at the level of creativity you have just mastered.


  1. That was a great lesson. I had said I need a lesson in focus. I don't seem to have that option on my small Kodak camera, I have a new one on the way. As far as the dog pic, I had no idea what was wrong. I thought the nose was the focus. Thanks gal.

  2. Excellent tip. There are times I have actually blurred out an entire person to get something they were holding in their hands because that was the focus of the story. Focus on what you want to say.

  3. Nice tips. Thanks so much. Now I know how and what to focus.


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