I often get the feeling that photography is talked and written about as if its practitioners have an innate knowledge of the terms involved. Any craft or profession comes with its own specialist language, but if you’re new to it—and even if you’re not—you can often feel overwhelmed by the terminology, let alone the technicalities of the medium. Thinking back ‘hyperfocal distance’ is one of the terms that most baffled me.
You will most likely hear ‘hyperfocal distance’ mentioned in relation to landscape photography. It describes a mathematically calculated sweet-spot that, when you focus there, maximises the depth-of-field across your scene. For, while you might believe that using a small aperture and focusing at infinity would do the job, it doesn’t.