How and where to focus on landscapes to shoot sharper images

Oct 13, 2018

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Oct 13, 2018

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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When you’re shooting landscapes, the biggest challenge is getting images clean and sharp from front to back. You’d think it’s quite simple. Focus on infinity and away you go right? Well, not so much. That often puts things in the foreground out of focus. So, how you can you get everything sharp?

In this video from NatureTTL, Ross Hoddinott walks us through various techniques to get maximum sharpness throughout your scene.

The first tip has nothing to do with the focus, but it’s an obvious one, and a biggy. Always use a tripod. This is the single way to help ensure that your images are sharper, by eliminating movement from the camera itself. This is especially true on those dull days when you need to extend the shutter with those low ISOs and small apertures on a dull day. Using a tripod also means turning off IBIS or lens stabilisation.

But with your camera and lens steady? What next? Well, as Ross explains in the video, when you focus your camera, it’s focused about a third of the way into your depth of field. So, if you focus too far away at, say, infinity, this is why the close parts of the image are all out of focus. Likewise, if you focus too close, the distance objects will be blurred.

The trick is finding that sweet spot in the middle, known as the hyperfocal distance, that lets you get everything in focus. Well, that’s one trick. Ross covers a couple of others in the video, and it’s well worth a watch if you’re struggling to get everything sharp in your landscapes.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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2 responses to “How and where to focus on landscapes to shoot sharper images”

  1. Ramon Philippo Avatar
    Ramon Philippo

    One of the most important aspects to UWA photography is understanding your lens’ field curvature.

  2. cam yogi Avatar
    cam yogi

    It is the most impotent blogs and useful. Really The biggest challenge is getting images clean for a Best Photographer. Thank you for your impotent tips .