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Question from Nikki!  I go over a few parts of this email as well as how to use the '1/3 2/3 rule of focus' for portraits of many people or just a few.

Hi Greg!

Love everything you do, you do great photography and are a great "mentor". You answer questions so honestly and clearly, I can follow you so well.

Wondering if you can answer a question for me?? I normally do action sports and athlete portraits and now moving into portraits.  I have a family portrait coming up and they have 6 members in their family. I have a D700, 70-200 f2.8 lens that I always use. Just love it!!! I am really nervous and not sure I have my settings set right. YIKES!!!

Currently my settings are on continuous focus, 21 points??, ISO 200 (always sunny in Texas), shutter 1600.

Focal point I have at 21 points.....I think I am wrong here. I don't want anyone out of focus.

Should I be shooting in aperture priority? and is 2.8 incorrect. I love bokeh but don't want to blur Mom and Dad out of the picture, LOL!!!!

Please offer any suggestions you may have....I am sweating up a storm thinking about my first REAL family portrait.

Thanks in advance! Keep up the great work you do!


Portraits & Depth of Field Portraits & Depth of Field Gregory Cazillo and the Paoli Fire Company Lionville Fire Company, 100th Anniversary

BTW, I used the studio lighting diagrams from in this video.

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+3 # Dima 2011-11-14 13:46
Great video, thank you Greg!!! I had no idea about 1/3 & 2/3 rule.
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0 # isabel 2011-11-15 15:48
great video thanks!! :lol:
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0 # Arva Davis 2011-11-17 17:12
Very good illustration, really helpful. Thanks for the tips.
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0 # Victor T 2011-12-29 13:09
Great video. Recomment Dynamic focus? I can't seem to get more people in focus..with higher aperture, then my lighting etc. isn't the greatest..Am I off the mark completely?
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0 # Gregory Cazillo 2011-12-29 13:23
Focus isn't going to change your depth of field. You might need to start with a clear understanding of exposure like I mentioned in this video You can learn about exposure in this one
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0 # Victor T 2011-12-29 16:48
I get exposure etc. But I can't get sharpness on people further back from focus point etc. What am I doing wrong?
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0 # salsaguy 2014-08-06 02:36
What f/stop are you using? DOnt use f2.8 or f4 for everything. As he stated in the video, if they are on the same plane parallel to the camera they should be in focus. If they are off plane then you need more DOF meaning a smaller aperture (larger f #).
Once common issue some forget about is if they use Focus/Recompose technique. Review your focus point location in camera.
Hope this helps
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0 # Dan Holahan 2012-03-01 13:52
Big help with the depth of field. Needed that explanation of the 1/3 2/3 rule and the difference between a wide angle and longer lens.
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0 # Karen Simmons 2012-06-25 14:33
I have watched many of your videos and find them very informing and well done. I am a new photographer and have learned alot from your easy and informative style, and it's nice to have the videos available to watch over again, if needed. In my situation, I've had to learn quickly. At times, it's been overwhelming. I've gone from taking casual pictures of children and grandchildren and travel, to learning a new camera and lenses, studio set-up and equipment, and now Photoshop Elements and CS5 - all on a very tight budget and in less than 1 1/2 years. I have in no way mastered any of this, and still have so much to learn. My suggestion for videos in 2012, because I faced this the hard way, is the Studio Photography - Light techniques, setups, trigger, multiple flash units, and especially power levels, etc. I found, after researching the lighting equipment, that there is very little information out there on how to set up the trigger flash, multiple flash units, and especially on the power levels of the monolights and how to adjust them. It was only through calling B & H Photo for help to get the trigger flash to work with my setup. No instructions. I also would like videos on the Nikon SB Flash units, as I have yet to purchase one, but from what I have seen, it also looks intimidating to use. I noticed alot of requests for Lightroom, but I have CS5 and would appreciate your style of teaching in that area too. Thanks for all your work in putting together these videos and for unselfishly sharing your knowledge and experience.
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0 # Gregory Cazillo 2012-06-26 10:07
All that is coming! I have a bunch of flash videos in the works.
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0 # Ashley Escobar 2014-01-19 17:40
I shoot a nikon D5200, 50mm 1.4 prime (mostly) I don't understand the crop everything I see in my view finder not going to make it to print?
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0 # Gregory Cazillo 2014-01-19 18:42
Quoting Ashley Escobar:
I shoot a nikon D5200, 50mm 1.4 prime (mostly) I don't understand the crop everything I see in my view finder not going to make it to print?

Depends on your camera, usually dx cameras don't have 100% viewfinder coverage which means your image will have a bit more.
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0 # salsaguy 2014-08-06 02:45
crop factor for Nikons = 1.5 & 1.6 for Canon. Crop factor means a 50 mm lens on a crop sensor camera has images that are cropped in and make them "look" like they were instead shot with a 75mm lens, (a telephoto instead of a normal lens). when you buy lenses, keep that in mind. If you want a wide angle you need a number that is even wider. 24-70 on a Full frame would be a 16 to 47 lens on a crop body camera (basically a 15-50mm or more common 17-55 kit lens = 25.5 - 82.5mm full frame equivalent
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