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Old 01-27-2017   #41
michaelwj
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Captain, in your cow example, I would focus on the nearest cow at 2.5m, and close the aperture to cover the background. My reasoning is the if the near cow will be the focus then it should be sharp. The far distance will be not quite sharp, but then we are used to seeing the far distance a bit blurry, it looks natural. But if the sharpest point is the tail of the cow not its eyes, it would just look weird. Sometimes hyperfocal can work, but other times it's best just to focus on the main subject. If there is no main subject, then what is the photo about? The answer will dictate where you focus.
On the other hand, if the near cow was 0.5m away and on the edge of the frame, I might focus farther into the scene and have the near cow as an out of focus frame for the image. Webb and others do this a lot.
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Old 01-29-2017   #42
tunalegs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Kidd View Post
While on the subject, these examples, do you think the photographers took them using hyperfocal settings, or actually focused on a particular part of the photo, would that not just give the same result?

Harry Gruyaert
https://www.magnumphotos.com/wp-cont...70-overlay.jpg
Harry Gruyaert
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com...63e02aaa7a.jpg
Gueorgui Pinkhassov
https://i1.wp.com/www.pavelkosenko.com/lj/0101/018.jpg
David Alan Harvey
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com...14fa69282e.jpg

Thanks
None of these images appear to be focused using the hyperfocal distance, indeed none of them appear to have the distant background in focus when one looks closely.

One may often get away with having the distance background in soft focus without most even noticing it, because we often don't see extremely distance views in discernible detail. I think one can also often get away with having extreme foreground objects out of focus, as is the case in several photos you've posted in this thread.

Using an example of my own, in the photo below the whole image at first glance appears to be sharp, because all the subjects of interest (and well everything big) is actually sharp. But if you look closer for a second, the most distant parts of the photo are not sharp.


Tourists by Berang Berang, on Flickr

As in many of the photos you've posted it's more the composition which gives the impression of total focus than every distance actually being in focus.

It may also be appropriate to think about relative sharpness, at f11 diffraction will begin to contribute a slight softening over the whole frame, which by slightly reducing the sharpness of what distances otherwise would be in sharpest focus also has the effect of "leveling" the relative sharpness of near vs. far. Basically the sharp parts become less sharp so the difference between them and out of focus areas becomes less noticeable.

Further along that line, the smaller the image the sharper the whole thing will look. I suspect that some of the examples you've posted wouldn't appear nearly as uniformly sharp if the file sizes were larger.
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Old 01-30-2017   #43
johnnyrod
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Some great advice there, and as an amateur who is still learning the basics, it makes interesting reading. I can only echo some of the above that works for me:

Don't obsess over sharpness too much
Camera shake is easily done and can be hard to spot as the cause; always consider a tripod
Worry less about the background/distance being so sharp; focus a touch closer than the "ideal" spot your DoF scale says, as you always have more DoF behind than in front anyway (so is more forgiving)
Add a stop to what the DoF scale says you need
Do experiment, not only with the technicalities, but try a reduced DoF (e.g. f5.6) where you would normally want hyperfocal, focus on the subject, and just see how it turns out
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Old 02-03-2017   #44
Captain Kidd
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Thanks for these, I was away for a few days, in Paris in fact so got to visit the henri cartier bresson foundation (an exhibition on his book the decisive moment) and a Harold Feinstein exhibition at another gallery, feeling inspired and as grateful as always for the comments, Thanks again
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