Hyperfocal: Range of Focus

Hyperfocal: Range of Focus

Range of Focus (Hyperfocal)

The area in a photograph, from near to far, which appears to be in sharp focus is called “depth of field” (probably better called “range of focus”). The laws of light physics and optics dictate this sharply focused area extends from one-third the distance in front of the point of focus to two-thirds beyond. 

To maximize the area in sharp focus: simply select a focus spot one-third of the way into the scene. Doing this, the front third and the back two-thirds will be in focus to maximize the range of sharp focus. (You should use your camera’s multi selector button to place your camera’s focus point on this spot to preserve your composition.) 

Focusing here, coupled with an aperture of f/22, will give you the widest possible range of focus throughout the image.

What and How

This image of the frequently photographed Moulton barn and Grand Tetons is actually a High Dynamic Range composite of five bracketed exposures. It was shot off a stout tripod and ball head by a Nikon D700 camera through a Nikon 70-200mm lens set at 78mm.  To maximize the range of sharp focus, an aperture of f/22 was selected.

The D700’s full frame sensor handles light well, so I chose ISO-800 to get a shutter speed of 1/250.

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