Precision Camera Portrait: Melika

Melika, Precision Camera Portait - Austin, Texas

Melika, Precision Camera Portait – Austin, Texas

Melika joins us for the fourth and last Precision Camera portrait I made during this year’s Winter Expo. This portrait is a bonus since I didn’t meet her the day before, and she wasn’t in the Sony Portrait.

The rule of thumb in portraits is to ensure the eyes (or at least one eye) are in focus. That’s not very difficult if you have a deep depth of field. Focus on the face or even the body, and the eyes are usually in focus. That doesn’t work when using an f1 aperture, particularly this close to the subject.

The old-school way is to slow down, focus on the eye and recompose. However, with an extremely shallow depth of field, this may not work. Just recomposing can shift the plane of focus. The better way is to keep the camera’s framing and move the focus point in the camera. This process can be slow and cumbersome.

The best way is using the newest technology — eye-tracking and focusing. I used the Fujifilm X-E3, a five-year-old camera with modest eye-tracking, which worked surprisingly well in ample light. However, these systems often slow down as the light levels and contrast diminish.

While Melika’s eyes are sharp, her nose and hair fall out of focus. It’s not the textbook way of making traditional portraits, but I’ve always liked this style.

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