Maximize Sharpness with Lens and Aperture

Mount Haggin Wildlife Management Area
Anaconda, Montana

When you want to have everything in a broad landscape sharp from the flowers in the foreground to the distant mountain peaks, you need a combination of camera settings. First, a wide angle lens, such as the 24mm focal length I used here, automatically provides more front to back focus. Second, a small aperture, like f/22 used here, maximizes the depth of focus for the lens. Third, I selected a focus distance of about 3 feet away, just below the middle rail of the fence. With the camera on a tripod to avoid any motion, all these steps ensured that everything from the lupine to the Pioneer Mountains remained sharp.

Controlling the depth of focus with aperture is one of the most powerful composition tools available to photographers. Learn more ways to use aperture choice to enhance your pictures in Creative Camera Techniques, an online course beginning March 31, 2021. Click here to register.