Utilise depth of field
Discover how to achieve frontto-back sharpness to help enhance perspective effects
To make the most of linear perspective your image should be sharp from foreground to background. Fortunately, maximising depth of field is straightforward. The factors that affect it are focal length (the wider you go, the more depth of field there is), aperture (the smaller the aperture, the more depth of field you get) and where you focus. In many instances – especially if your foreground interest isn’t that close to the lens – simply focusing a third of the way into the scene works well. However, there are times when you need to be more accurate. In these cases, you’ll need an understanding of the hyperfocal distance.
Put simply, the hyperfocal distance is the focusing distance for a given focal length and aperture that gives maximum depth of field. Use a chart or app to help you find the hyperfocal distance for your camera at the focal length and aperture you’ve set, and then focus on this distance. Most mirrorless cameras display the focusing distance in the viewfinder; if you’re a DSLR user, focus on an object you estimate to be at that distance. Use manual focus, so the camera doesn’t refocus elsewhere when you press the shutter.
Everything from half the hyperfocal distance to infinity will be within the depth of field. After shooting, review your picture to check that both foreground and background are sharp.
Here, setting the hyperfocal distance ensured sharpness from the immediate foreground in front of the lens through to the background
Rule of thumb
With the closest foreground two to three metres from the camera, focusing a third of the way into the scene created enough depth of field