Ross Hod­dinott on... Achiev­ing ra­zor-sharp fo­cus

Practical Photography (UK) - - Coastal Masterclass -

“I rarely head to the coast with­out my tri­pod. First and fore­most, I want sta­bil­ity. I’m of­ten us­ing slow shut­ter speeds ex­ceed­ing 1/2sec, so my cam­era needs to be sta­ble. Also, it is much eas­ier to align grad­u­ated fil­ters pre­cisely with the cam­era fixed in po­si­tion. How­ever, a tri­pod is also a great com­po­si­tional aid, al­low­ing me time to care­fully fine-tune the fram­ing. “A tri­pod also al­lows me to fo­cus via Live View, which is my pre­ferred method. I don’t use hy­per­fo­cal charts or apps any longer – the for­mula sac­ri­fices too much back­ground sharp­ness in my opin­ion. In­stead, I will of­ten dou­ble dis­tance fo­cus – a method where the pho­tog­ra­pher iden­ti­fies the clos­est ob­ject they want to record sharply in the frame and then dou­bles this dis­tance. For ex­am­ple, if the clos­est ob­ject in the frame is ap­prox­i­mately 3m away, fo­cus at 6m. I’ve found this quite a re­li­able way to achieve ac­cept­able front-to-back sharp­ness.

“In or­der to set fo­cus, I ac­ti­vate Live View and then use the mag­nify but­ton to zoom into my cho­sen point. I then fo­cus us­ing back-but­ton fo­cus­ing. I also have the added ad­van­tage that my Nikon D850 pro­vides live depth-of-field in Live View mode, while if I switch to man­ual fo­cus­ing, I also have the added as­sis­tance of fo­cus peak­ing. I rely on mid-range f/num­bers like f/8 or f/11 for seascapes. An aper­ture in this re­gion pro­vides good depth of fo­cus while re­main­ing rel­a­tively free of dif­frac­tion – an op­ti­cal ef­fect that tends to soften over­all im­age qual­ity at smaller aper­tures. If I am un­able to achieve suf­fi­cient front-to-back sharp­ness at my cho­sen aper­ture, I will fo­cus stack in­stead.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.