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New Contributor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎07-06-2013

Photographing a Baby

Greetings,

 

I'm trying to make couple of nice portraits of my baby and most of them are out of focus.

I'm shooting outside, using EOS 7D in Aperture-priority mode, ISO100. The lens is and EF24-105 F/4L wide open.

I'm using Manual select Zone AF and IF Servo focus mode.

Any other settings suggestions?

 

Thanks!

Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,119
Registered: ‎02-06-2013

Re: Photographing a Baby

I would choose one shot AF mode and single shooting drive mode for portrait shots.  Regarding focus point, I would use a single point focus, aimed at the eye.  I never use AI Focus...not sure what it's for and it's never worked out for me. 

 

Since you use Av mode at f/4 and ISO 100, make sure your computed shutter speed does not dip too low...for razor sharp pictures, I'd at least have it at 1/250 or faster.  I usually go to 1/1000 if there's enough light.

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Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,861
Registered: ‎12-02-2012

Re: Photographing a Baby

I agree with the last. Keep the shutter up to 1/250th, or faster if your little subject is moving around. Focus on the one eye closest to the camera. Use a single AF point.

Use the center AF point if you can make it work in the frame, but don't do the "lock focus & then recompose" thing shooting wide open. With a wide aperture, the shallow DOF can destroy your focus when you pivot the camera to recompose. If the center point won't be on the baby's eye, then select the AF point that will be over that eye.

I would suggest using a reflector to make sure you have enough light to use a fast shutter, and to fill in shadows on the face of course too. I would avoid going up on ISO as long as possible, because even 200 ISO loses a little bit of detail on crop.
Scott

Canon 5d mk 4, Canon 6D, EF 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS mk2; EF 16-35 f/2.8 L mk. III; Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art" EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro; EF 85mm f/1.8; EF 1.4x extender mk. 3; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS; 3x Phottix Mitros+ speedlites

Why do so many people say "FER-tographer"? Do they take "fertographs"?
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 2,344
Registered: ‎11-14-2012

Re: Photographing a Baby

Why are you shooting wide open? You should have good light outdoors but f 4.0 will have a very shallow DOF if you're relatively close. Also use either AI Servo or One Shot . Also verify that the IS is on on the lens.

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."
Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,861
Registered: ‎12-02-2012

Re: Photographing a Baby

Good question from Cicopo.  You are outdoors in daytime, so I assume you are shooting wide aperture in order to get a blurred background, and not because you need more light.  You can get a plenty blurred background at f/5 something or f/6 something as long as 1.)  you are rather close to the subject/baby, and 2.)  the background you put behind you is rather far away.  The extra DOF you gain here will be very forgiving of focus errors, moving baby errors, and even a little front or back focus in the camera.

 

Which does at least raise the question of whether your camera might possibly be front or back focusing, and whether you might need a little + or - AFMA on your 7D for this lens.  Is the focus issue limited to the moving baby, or if you shot some stationary test object at close range with widest aperture, would the camera miss focus often, and generally in one particular direction (front of back)?

Scott

Canon 5d mk 4, Canon 6D, EF 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS mk2; EF 16-35 f/2.8 L mk. III; Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art" EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro; EF 85mm f/1.8; EF 1.4x extender mk. 3; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS; 3x Phottix Mitros+ speedlites

Why do so many people say "FER-tographer"? Do they take "fertographs"?
New Contributor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎07-06-2013

Re: Photographing a Baby

Thank you everyone, I will try all these different suggestions and will report back. 

I"m doing this every day, so it won't be long.

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