“Find a subject in front of a background with depth. Take a close viewpoint and zoom in… Focus on the subject and take a single shot. Then, without changing the focal length, set the focus to infinity and take a second shot.”
I struggled a bit with this exercise, even though I understand the concept. I don’t have many lenses and until a fortnight ago none of them except the macro had a distance dial that I could set to infinity. I got into the habit of using hyperfocal distance (with varying degrees of success). It is fair to say that I struggle with getting a shot with both close foreground and far background elements in focus without the use of a very narrow aperture, long exposure and a tripod and even then it’s often not how I want it. Also, because I’ve never had the ability to set to Infinity I don’t know exactly how to use it, in fact so far I’ve managed to forget that it’s there, with the exception of these exercises. Do I need to be in AF or MF or does it make no difference? If I’m in AF then what do I auto focus on? Does it make any difference that I normally work with back button focus? I need to follow up on these questions.
Having now done this… thanks everyone – I know to use Manual focus, focus at the back, and to adjust the aperture depending on how forwards I want the focus to extend (a narrower aperture will give a deeper zone of focus than a wider aperture). That said, in daylight I normally shoot in AF and I don’t really see any reason to change this. I will reshoot for this exercise using MF, but for the moment here is a pair of images one with the focus on the foreground object, and one with the focus behind that object. Both images are 70mm f4 ISO 100. Thank you to Clare Brooks for permission to photograph in her garden.