One of the most important things you can do for your photography is to learn how to get a sharply focused image. Camera makers and lens manufacturers go through a lot of trouble to make sure the equipment does its part. They then leave it up to the photographer to learn and use the equipment well enough that each photograph he or she takes can be described as tack-sharp. But, is sharpness always the ideal? I offer the above photograph. I was interested in capturing Abigail’s eyes. You will notice that the sharpness of the image varies. The eyelashes on the right are fairly sharp, but the eyes are just out of focus. Yet as you examine the photo, I hope you also notice the liquid-like quality that this lack of sharpness adds to her eyes. It softens the image, while still giving a good frame (the dark eyelashes) to draw one’s attention to the eyes themselves.
To take this shot, I didn’t have a flash, so I had to use a rather wide aperture for my lens (probably F4 for the lens I had). I also had to get in really close, use a slow shutter speed (likely under 1/30th of a second), and hold my breath (yes, this is important when you take a shot-it helps you to avoid adding motion blur into the photo).
Let me know what you think.