Focusing Techniques for Landscape Photography

Focusing is a critical matter in photography irrespective of the genre. With most photography genres, the answer to where you should focus is obvious. For instance, if you’re shooting portraits, go for the eye. In the case of street photography, focus on your subject of interest. But when it comes to shooting landscapes, it can get tricky. You want to have as much of the scene in focus as possible. So, how do you go about that? Photographer Mads Peter Iversen shares some insightful tips on how you can get everything in focus from the foreground to infinity when shooting landscapes:

When you want to get as much of the scene in focus as possible, you want to have the greatest depth of field. Well, you could use hyperfocal distance and depth of field charts to get that but this can be impractical when you’re out on the field.

“I don’t make any kind of crazy calculations when I’m in the field.”

It’s necessary to understand that your aperture setting isn’t the only thing that affects your depth of field. How much of the scene is in focus is also determined by the focal length of the lens, and the subject to camera distance. By evaluating how you’ve set these three parameters, it becomes easier for you to get everything from front to back in focus.

An easy and effective way to get all of the scene in focus is to use a narrow aperture of about f/11, and set the focus to infinity. If you insist on using f/8, set your focus point to an area that’s closer to the camera. Somewhere about 1/3rd into the scene works best. That’s where the hyperfocal distance usually lies.

For detailed explanations and demonstrations, be sure to watch the video through in full. And no matter where you focus, always double-check your images. Make sure that the foreground and background are all in focus. If they’re not, you’ll need to either shift the focus point or narrow down your aperture a bit. If nothing works, or if the focus is absolutely critical, you may need to use focus stack.

What trick do you use for a greater depth of field?

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