Com­pose and fo­cus

NPhoto - - FEATURE -

A good land­scape pho­to­graph should cap­ture the viewer’s in­ter­est, from right in front of the lens, all the way to the dis­tant hori­zon. There­fore, you’ll need some ‘fore­ground in­ter­est’ close to the lens. In the shot be­low, the pho­tog­ra­pher has used the wild flow­ers, stretch­ing from the bot­tom of the frame to the mid­dle ground, for this pur­pose. An­other com­po­si­tional tool, known as a lead­ing line, has also been em­ployed to lead the eye from the bot­tom­right of the frame to the cen­tre – in this case the lead­ing line is the path on the right. The idea be­hind this is to di­rect the viewer’s gaze into the pho­to­graph.

In or­der to keep ev­ery­thing sharp, from the fore­ground right to the dis­tant hori­zon, you have to use a nar­row aper­ture to max­i­mize the depth of field. But where you fo­cus is im­por­tant too. Depth of field ex­tends from one-third in front of the fo­cus point to two-thirds be­hind it, so for max­i­mum depth of field you need to fo­cus on some­thing a third of the way into the scene, dis­tance-wise – this is known as the ‘hy­per­fo­cal’ dis­tance. As luck would have it, for the ma­jor­ity of scenes this will also be roughly around a third of the way up from the bot­tom of the frame.

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