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Focusing for moving targets

BraveheartBraveheart Member
edited January 2014 in wedding photography
When focussing the processionals etc, what do you focus on? Do you still try to nail the eyes like in a portrait or just try to paint their cheek or chest with the af point ?
Just wondered since inside the aperture is likely to be wide.


  • MikeZMikeZ Member
    edited January 2014
    Depending on the situation and how much light you have to work with there are many variables. You can zone focus on an area the bride is GOING to be in and fire then. You can focus on an area of contrast near the face while the subjects are moving-such as where skin and dress meet or light shirt and darker jacket meet. If you have an external battery pack for your speedlight you can try continuous focus and multiple shots. Personally, I try to make sure shutter, iso and flash are getting me where I need to be to augment the ambient light and get very close to freezing the action. I mostly use single focus (on Nikon) and focus near the eye socket. What camera are you using? Different cameras have different focusing prowess and may help you determine where you need to be for the sake of securing the shot.

    Neil has great how to stuff! http://neilvn.com/tangents/photographing-the-wedding-processional/#comments
  • ZenonZenon Member
    edited January 2014
    Eyes are pretty tough for me anyway. My Canon body on AI Servo and I lock onto a moving target. Shallow DOF if you are skilled and a deep DOF if not. I trust the technology.
  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    edited January 2014
    I focus on the bridesmaids' flowers, and that seems to work. With their movement forward, by the time the shutter fires, their faces are (still) in focus. I have a high success rate in doing this. I think what helps the camera focus, is the detail and contrast the flowers offer.

    Keep in mind that I'm usually around f/4 to f/2.8 on my 24-70mm, so I have a tiny bit of leeway with DoF, compared to fast primes.

    I shoot with D4 bodies and they are responsive cameras. That helps.)
  • Cheers Neil, that is helpful.
    Need to get out and practice some, might look a bit silly for a while tracking cats and dogs around though !

  • I have had excellent results tracking bride/groom by placing AF points somewhere on face. f stop is less relevant since there is usually a great distance between subject and camera so that f2.8 gives decent leeway and you are shooting with a relatively wide focal length. (as Neil mentioned)

  • Yes yes! Distance to the subject will alter the depth of field! Very important to mention and I forgot mention it.
  • I can't believe I just started a new topic and this one answered my question straight out!!! It must have been down the list a bit because to see this one I clicked on the Wedding Photography tag. Oh well. Kind of emphasises my point though that this is the number 1 resource.
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