Exercise 2.3: Focus

02nd March 2021

Find a location with good light for a portrait shot. Place your subject some distance in front of a simple background and select a wide aperture together with a moderately long focal length such as 100mm on a 35mm full-frame camera (about 65mm on a cropped-frame camera). Take a viewpoint about one and a half metres from your subject, allowing you to compose a headshot comfortably within the frame. Focus on the eyes and take the shot. 



  • Camera: Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5
  • Lens: Panasonic 45mm-200mm (90mm-400mm 35mm equivalent) f/5.2, SS 1/320, 144.0mm (288.0mm 35mm equivalent)
  • Settings: Aperture Priority, ISO 200, W.B. Auto, Spot metering
  • File type: RAW



This shot was taken with bright sunlight falling on the left side of the Rose, against a background consisting of the garden fence with trees behind it. I was hoping that I would gain more tree than fence but my viewpoint thought otherwise.

It was not until I looked at my images in Adobe Bridge that I had realised my settings could have been better, therefore if I were to shoot this again I would set my camera settings with the adjustments of: WB Direct Sunlight and F-stop f4.

I am not at traditional portrait photographer. My portraits are either self-portraits or candid and street portraits. Thinking about a shot for a portrait and planning it first is very different from my normal on-the-go portraits where I am trying to capture myself and other people as naturally and a quickly as possible.

However, now I am beginning to learn more about the technical side of photography I am seeing how I can be creative in other ways. It truly has made me happy and determined to experiment further with the new skills learnt.

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