Photography Tip – Focus On The Eyes

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Photography Tip – Focus on the Eyes

Many of the newer DSLRs come out of the box with multiple point, or matrix focusing enabled. Basically, the camera tries to determine the best points to use for focusing.

This does not give you good control over the focus point in your images – particularly with long lenses and wide f-stops typical in portraiture.

I recommend that you modify your focus setting to be a single point in the center of the viewfinder, and then use that point to focus on the closest eye of your subject.

This doesn’t mean that you have to keep the eye in the center of the viewfinder in every image. Instead, zoom first, center  the viewfinder on the closest eye, half-press the shutter to get a focus confirmation in the center of the viewfinder, and then move the camera to recompose your image before pressing the shutter.

This guarantees that you will have complete control over the point of focus in all of your images. A sharp eye is important for the visual impact of portraits!

John Huegel is a photographer and educator in Erie, Pennsylvania.  Focusing on Seniors, Weddings and other people photography, he is also a published ebook author on the Kindle and Nook stores. His book on web marketing is oriented toward photographers who want to grow their online presence. His work can be seen at, and his education site for photography is at

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