We’ve already established that you will want to use a tripod to minimize camera shake and achieve sharper images, and that you should use a small aperture to get greater depth of field. But shooting at a small aperture doesn’t necessarily mean that your entire scene will be in focus. Your goal is to find the spot within the scene that will help you get most of your image in focus.
Hyperfocal distance, also referred to as HFD, is the closest point of focus to the lens where the remaining distance (out to infinity) is acceptably in focus. Combining HFD with a small aperture will help you achieve a great depth of field, ideal for many landscape photographs. A simple way to achieve this is to focus on an object that is about one-third of the distance into your frame. This is the method used by most working pros and is the easiest to remember and apply while shooting.
When you view the image through the viewfinder, however, you don’t always see the correct depth of field, and you might be tricked into thinking that you have more or less depth of field than you actually have. You can address this problem with your camera’s Depth-of-Field Preview feature. This easy-to-use feature works when you look through the viewfinder and in Live View. When you have your focus set, just press the Depth-of-Field Preview button located on the front of the camera (Figure 5.14), and you’ll see a visual representation of what the depth of field in the image will look like when you take the picture.