THE PLANE OF CRITICAL FOCUS
PREVIEWING AND PREDICTING DEPTH OF FIELD
USING THE HYPERFOCAL DISTANCE TO DEEPEN DEPTH OF FIELD
Composing a photograph is all about choices. For example, you choose the shape of your photograph — square, rectangular, or panoramic. You pick the orientation: landscape or portrait. You select various elements of design to populate your image, and you select how those elements of design should be arranged in order to effectively convey your message. Yet another choice that factors into an image's composition is depth of field, which is the amount of space in front of and behind the subject of your photograph that appears in focus, sometimes referred to as the zone of focus. In this chapter, you learn how you can control the depth of field when composing your photos.
The portion of the scene where you focus your camera's lens is called the plane of critical focus. It's the area that appears absolutely sharp in your photograph. Think of the plane of critical focus as being a glass pane that is parallel to your camera's digital sensor chip. Any objects in front of or behind the glass pane might appear in focus, but they won't be as tack-sharp as the objects that are on the glass pane. The farther away from the pane an object is, the less sharp it appears.
Depth of field refers to the zone of focus — or the amount of space in front of and behind the plane of critical ...