How to Get Sharper Focus When Shooting Landscapes


Shooting landscapes can be tougher than you really think. Shoot at f22, and everything will be in focus but you’ll also have lots of diffraction. Shoot at a spot more wide open and not everything will be in focus at all. So what’s the best way to do it?

According to Professional Photography Tips on YouTube, a great starting point is to use Live View on your tripod mounted camera, then focus out to around 1/3rd of the way through the frame. At this point, you should use the digital zoom feature to see if you are in focus and sharp or not. They also recommend shooting at f8. But if that isn’t working then you need to make adjustments. If you’re using certain cameras and you switch to manual focus mode, your camera will give you focus peaking to help you discern whether you’re in focus or not to begin with.

For what it’s worth, the tips are mostly geared towards users with wide angle lenses (our recommendations are here and here). But indeed, there are many photographers that use telephoto lenses to get subjects further away.

But beyond getting sharper focus is the fact that you can also have a sharper image. Then you need to ensure that you have better color–which is linked to your exposure to begin with. Believe it or not, that starts with working with the black levels and contrast. A more contrasty image will appear sharper when not viewed at 100% (and your subjects really shouldn’t be viewing your images at 100% to begin with.)

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.