How to Photograph the Eye, Iris or Pupil of a Human

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How to Photograph the Eye, Iris or Pupil of a Human
Get a clear photo of an eye. (old camera 2 image by James Lemmon from

There are many reasons someone might want to photograph an eye. The eyes express a lot of emotion and are often considered a work of art. A photograph of an eye is a great addition to a spread of photos in a collage. The eye is also used for identification, like the fingerprint. Many government agencies will photograph their employees' eyes as another form of security for access to restricted areas. Digital cameras work well to photograph the eye, iris or pupil because they have the necessary settings.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Digital camera

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  1. 1

    Turn on your camera, and open the menu. Change the camera setting so that it is not taking pictures on the automatic setting. This may involve changing the camera to "program" or turning off the camera's auto feature.

  2. 2

    Change the focus setting to either "spot" or "center." Make sure your camera's ISO setting is set to 100. Set the quality of your camera to "fine."

  3. 3

    Set your camera to use the "Q" macro setting (if your camera has this). Turn off the menu. Use the close-up (macro) function. This will usually be a symbol of a flower.

  4. 4

    Use a low-intensity flash. If your camera doesn't have this option, turn off the flash. Position your subject. If you do not have a low-intensity flash on your camera, you will want to use natural light. Take your subject outdoors and position him or her so that the sun is not directly in his or her eye, iris or pupil.

  5. 5

    Have your subject cover the eye that you will not be photographing. Move toward the subject and position the camera so that the centre of the eye matches the centre focusing point of the camera.

  6. 6

    Zoom the camera in so that the eye, iris or pupil takes up the entire frame of the camera. Take the picture.

Tips and warnings

  • Not all cameras will have every feature listed above. If your camera does not have a certain feature, skip that step. Most cameras have the macro function built in. Besides the lighting, this is the most important step in taking close-up pictures.

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