Go the distance
Master hyperfocal distance and get all your landscapes sharp from the foreground to the horizon
Getting your landscapes sharp from front to back is tricky, but exploiting a phenomenon of depth of field can help you get a tacksharp scene every time. Depth of field is the distance either side of the focal point that is ‘acceptably sharp’; it’s determined by aperture, focus distance and focal length, and – crucially – it extends twice as far beyond the focus point as it does in front. The point of using hyperfocal distance focusing is to focus at the point at which the depth of field stretches to ‘infinity’ so that the maximum possible amount of the scene appears sharp.
You get a greater depth of field at shorter focal lengths and narrower apertures, so if you shoot at an aperture of f/16 on a 16mm wide-angle lens with a full-frame Nikon, the hyperfocal distance is 50cm. Focusing at this point will make everything from roughly half this distance (25cm) to infinity appear sharp.
Before dialing in your lens’s smallest aperture, though, you need to take ‘diffraction’ into account, as images actually become progressively softer at narrow apertures due to light being diffracted by the aperture blades. This becomes noticeable beyond around f/16 on an APS-C (DX) format sensor, or f/22 on a full-frame (FX) one.
You get a greater depth of field at shorter focal lengths and narrower apertures