Want SHARP Nature Photos? Here’s How & Where to Focus (VIDEO)

We’ve talked a lot in the past about the difficulty of properly exposing landscape photos, because of ever-changing light and the wide range of brightness that often occurs within the frame. It’s often just as challenging, for different reasons, to attain proper focus—an equally critical consideration.

Landscape scenes tend to be complicated, with a variety of interesting objects that appear in the foreground, mid-range and background of a shot. So when it comes to focus, what’s the best way to proceed? That’s the point of the following tutorial from accomplished British pro Henry Turner.

This behind-the-scenes video takes place in England’s Lake District National Park—a gorgeous location for photographers, and the home of British mountaineering. You’ll follow Turner chasing autumn, while he discusses two key considerations for sharp results.

According to Turner there are two key considerations if you want optimum results; 1) understanding where to focus, and 2) knowing how to focus. Succeeding at one, while failing at the other, simply doesn’t cut it.

Turner begins with the first topic and he explains two basic approaches for setting the focus point—his personal favorite and one other. And there’s a good chance that the technique he recommends isn’t the one you use.

The method Turners says he employs “over 90% of the time” is to simply focus on a spot that’s about a third of the way into the scene. This approach yields a large zone of sharpness as long as you don’t shoot wide open. The second option is to pick out a specific object within the frame, and focus directly on that. You’ll see when and why one technique delivers better results than the other.

The second key variable is using correct technique; i.e. knowing how to focus once you’ve solved the where. You’ll have to watch the video to take advantage of Turner’s recommendations for doing that.

If landscape photography is your thing, we urge you to pay a visit to his YouTube channel once you’ve viewed this video. We also suggest watch the lesson we posted from another successful shooter, demonstrating several simple tips for shooting autumn macro photos with great color.