Don’t rely on centre-point autofocus for your landscape photography. Our tutorial below shows you how to avoid spoiling your excellent photo composition with blurry photos by keeping your foreground interest sharp.
Fully automatic DSLRs have revolutionised photography over the past decade, but don’t assume that the camera’s autofocus system will always produce an image that’s sharp in the right places.
The camera will only focus on what you point it at, and it will often focus by default in the middle of the frame.
Much of the time this is fine, and your pictures will turn out correctly focused, but this is not always the case. To shoot sharp landscape photos, for example, out-of-focus foregrounds are a problem.
The reason for this is that when using autofocus in combination with the central focusing point, the camera will focus on a part of the scene in the middle distance.
This means that the foreground elements, which are obviously closer to the camera, will therefore be out of focus. The solution? Take some control…
How to keep the foreground in sharp focus
Switch focusing point
Most cameras provide different focusing points around the frame that can be manually selected using the main control dials or a joystick. Simply press the AF point button and scroll to select an active focus point that lines up with part of the foreground to ensure this will appear in focus.
Use AF Lock
An alternative way to achieve the same result is to lock the focus. Use the central AF point, but after lining up the shot, tilt the camera down to focus on the foreground. Press and hold the AF Lock button to lock the focus, recompose and take the picture.
Select a small aperture
Even if you use the centre focus point and focus on the middle distance, it’s possible to bring much of the foreground into focus. To do this, select a small aperture of around f/16, which will maximise depth of field and increase how much of the foreground appears sharp.
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