Where to Focus and what Aperture to choose for Landscape Photography

October 30, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

So to get a great landscape photograph there are plenty of things to think about, today we are looking at aperture and focus.


Not all landscape images require the image to be pin sharp, but a lot of images do require pin sharp focusing. An example of a photo that doesn't require pin sharp focusing is when you have a long shutter speed and your overall look of the sea or sky in the photo is full of movement and so blurred rather than everything being pin sharp.

However in the majority of situations a beautiful landscape photograph needs sharp detail in the foreground and also in the background. This means that you need to have plenty of depth of field, so small apertures are the way to go. Remember a small aperture is a larger number - so an aperture of f/16 or f/22 is going to give you more of the image in focus than an aperture of f/4 which will give you a small amount of the image in focus.

However, its not enough to select your aperture of f/16 or f/22 and expect an amazing result, you also need to focus on the right point of the scene to get the full benefit of your chosen depth of field – (the zone of acceptable sharpness that extends in front and behind the point of focus).

The general rule is that the depth of field extends roughly twice as far behind the point of focus as it does in front.

Most people select a small aperture and then focus on the horizon - this isn't going to do you much good - as this means that if you focus on the horizon, a small area in front of the horizon will be sharp, but a lot of depth of field will be wasted because it extends beyond the horizon - and you don't see it.

So instead you need to focus at a point that’s roughly one third of the way into the scene as this makes a good approximation of something called hyperfocal distance focusing.

It means you will get a good majority of your image good and sharp, which is what you are looking for in a good landscape photograph.

When you are looking at your landscape before you that you have decided that you want to capture to memory and share with other people, think about what it is within the image that you are trying to share - where is your point of focus going to be - what is the important part that needs to be your point of focus? So there is something for you to think about when you take your next Landscape photograph.

Look out for tomorrows top tip. If you would like to have a one to one session and learn more about how to use your camera please just get in touch. you can email me alex@alexsharp.com or call me on 07885472010 to book in. In the new year I will be offering monthly online classes and also monthly group meet ups with a maximum of 3 people in a group, watch out for more details.



No comments posted.