Create the Maximum Depth of Field
Imagine the kind of pictures you could take if everything were in focus from one foot to infinity? Here’s the inside scoop on one of the oldest secrets in photography.
Galen Rowell, one of my favorite photographers, used to create landscape compositions in which both foreground objects and distant elements appeared in perfect focus. The effect is stunning. The viewer can both study a delicate pattern of petals in a foreground flower and marvel at the beauty of outlying mountains. How did he do that?
Galen found a way to capture tremendous depth of field in his images. In other words, he could have everything in focus, from inches away to infinity. You can employ this same technique in your photography; you just have to know the hack.
Three important factors come into play on these types of shots:
- The focal length of your lens
The wider the better.
- The lens aperture
The smaller the better (f-16, f-22, etc.).
- The object on which you focus in the composition
Contrary to expectation, it’s not the thing closest to you.
Once you’ve properly set these adjustments, you can create depth of field that spans from a foot in front of you to the puffy clouds drifting by.
Focal Length: The Wider the Better
Wide-angle lenses, or zoom lenses set to wide angle, are a key factor in depth-of-field photography. They help create the illusion that more things are in focus.
Galen Rowell usually shot with 35mm film cameras, and often he would use a 24mm wide-angle lens for this ...