Are you looking for a way to achieve"deep depth of field?"
A photo that has both closeby and distant objects in sharp focus is also referred to as having a "large depth of field" or "extended depth of field" (DOF).
This photo of the crocus and the distant brick building in the background is a good example of a situation where a deep range of things in focus makes the photo better.
In addition to using a high aperture number, like f/16 or f/22, a wide-angle lens will help you get the deepest DOF. Look at the comparison of depth of field in the three photos of the bottle caps below.
The 3 photos of the bottle caps were taken with a medium telephoto lens, a Canon 85mm f/1.8 which gives you less depth of field than a wide-angle lens will.
You can see, even stopped down all the way to f-22, the farthest and closest caps are not perfectly infocus. With a wide-open aperture of f/1.8, you can see you have very shallow depth of field.
Landscape photography often involves composing your photo with objects both close and far from your camera, so a large DOF is usually desirable.
In the beach photo at sunset the waves in the foreground are sharp as well as the distant boats and clouds. If the camera had been down low, close to the water's edge, even more of a deep depth of field would have been required to have everything in sharp focus.
It is a beautiful image and the composition may have been improved if the horizon did not divide the photograph in half. The reflection of the sun in the water does connect the top of the photo with the bottom of the photo nicely.
There are times when you may not want the distant objects in your landscape photography to be perfectly in focus. The main subject in this nature photograph is the close-up of the yellow flowers. Setting the f/stop so that the background has a softer, out-of-focus puts the emphasis on the nearby flowers.
The slightly more distant yellow flowers create a nice balance and then the blue water provide a great color contrast with the yellow.
Here is another example of a landscape photograph where it is a good idea to have everything in sharp focus. There is no one center of interest to focus on, but rather this photo is more about several areas of interest combined into one single composition.
The moss-covered rocks in the nearby foreground, the winding stream and then the more distant cascading water create a pathway for our eye to travel. Having a pathway for our eyes to travel within an image makes it more interesting to view for a longer period of time.
Using a small lens opening ( a high aperture number like f/11 or f/16) may require you to use a slow shutter speed to let enough light in for a good exposure. You will want a decent tripod to prevent even the slightest movement of your camera. You should you use your camera's self-timer or a shutter cord to prevent any camera giggle when you make your exposure.
Compare the two examples below. In the top photo I set my aperture at f-3.5. In the bottom example I set my aperture to f-22. In both photos I focused on the letter 'i" in Cusinart
If this photo were being used for an advertisement for the coffee bean scoop, the top photo would be the better choice. It's a little more artistic. The deep depth of field in the bottom makes the sharply focused coffee beans a distraction from the product, which is the scoop.
Is this a small difference? Yes! But understanding the subtle differences in depth of field can turn an average photo into a good or great photo.
Here is a another still life composition that I used f-22 as an aperture to get everything in fairly sharp focus.
These deep depth of field examples can whet your appetite for a good cup of fresh ground coffee, don't you think? Hey, have some fun!
Hopefully these large depth of field photos, examples maximum depth of field, are helpful for you to learn from.
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