Simple Tip for Getting Tack Sharp, In Focus Landscape Photos Every Time

For landscape photographers, getting your entire scene in focus while keeping things as sharp as possible at the same time can be a challenge.

But if you follow the simple technique laid out by photographer Joshua Cripps in the tutorial above, as he puts it, it becomes “as easy as manually removing a corn syrup-based artificially-flavored confectionary product, from the infantile grasp of a newborn Homo sapien.”


Cripps tip is extremely simple. First, you dial in your aperture — he suggests starting at f/8 where many lenses are at their sharpest — and focus about a third of the way up the frame. Then, flip the lens into manual focus and switch into live view.

From there, you simply zoom in on both your foreground and your background in live view to make sure everything is in focus. If it’s not, adjust as needed on your lens until it is.

Note: Some cameras will automatically stop the lens down to your selected aperture setting when you switch into live view, while others will require that you hold down the depth of field preview button.


If you find that you can’t keep both in focus, you can either stop down the lens further, or try one of the four tips Cripps offers in the video. Either step back to essentially move your fore and background closer together, shoot with a wider lens, embrace the catch 22 and use a shallow DOF to enhance one part of the scene, or focus stack.

To see Cripps demonstrate all of this for you — along with a good dose of humor for the start of your Hump day — check out the video above and then go visit his website for more useful tutorials or if you’d like to browse through some of his beautiful landscape shots.

  • Sir Stewart Wallace

    I like this guy. Even though none of this is new, the video is amusing.

  • Alessio Michelini

    Well, nice tip, and I’m pretty sure as a landscape photographer he’s great, but video is definitely not his thing

  • Pickle

    Nice tip but dude seems a little out there, man.

  • mcarneybsa

    This is one of the reasons I have a depth of field calculator on my phone – hyperfocal distance. I know that if I’m at XXmm at f/y that I can focus at z-feet to get everything in focus. Good tutorial video though, not too long and almost avoided the wadsworth constant.

  • Banan Tarr

    Lately I’ve been getting the foreground elements of my landscape work within a foot or so of the lens. And stopping down a lot. I’ve been avoiding focus stacking like the plague but it might be a tool I need to take on. Guess this weekend I’m going to see how close I can get with the 14-24mm and hyperfocal vs. focus stacking and maybe decide to go with one or the other as routine.

  • Michael Turcotte

    1/3 of infinity is …. (math hurt head). Maybe somebody could tell him about hyperfocal. A really amazing concept. My old lenses even had is on the barrel along with this nifty scale that gave me the DoF too.

  • Birear

    Jacqueline implied I’m taken by surprise that a mom can earn $8130 in 1 month
    on the computer . see post C­a­s­h­f­i­g­.­C­O­M­

  • Skwty

    Josh Gripps, or Cripps, no big deal :) I like his videos, they are fun to watch.

  • DrVan

    Simple Tip? Far from it. Who is writing these misleading headlines?

  • Vin Weathermon

    That’s as simple as it gets really.

  • bushdeloris

    until I looked at
    the draft 4 $7388 , I have faith that…my… brother truly bringing in money
    in their spare time at there computar. . there mums best friend haz done this
    for under twenty two months and a short time ago paid the mortgage on their
    home and purchased themselves a Alfa Romeo . go http://www.jℴbspup.ℂℴ­­­ℳ

  • kathleendtucker

    Josiah . although Jacqueline `s stori is surprising,
    last week I bought themselves a Chrysler from having made $5060 thiss month
    and-in excess of, 10/k last-month . it’s realy the easiest-work I have ever done
    . I started this 4 months ago and pretty much straight away was bringin in at
    least $78 per-hour . why not look here C­a­s­h­f­i­g­.­C­O­M­

  • gregorymbehrens

    classmate’s aunt makes $68 every hour on the computer . She has been fired for
    7 months but last month her paycheck was $15495 just working on the computer
    for a few hours. visit the site C­a­s­h­f­i­g­.­C­O­M

  • sdtransfertomich

    Using Live view for outdoor scenic shots? Is anyone really able to see enough of that detail on that view screen outdoors in bright sunlight?

  • Skwty

    I have personally done this with some of my sunrise photos. I felt that with Live View focusing I was able to get a better photo.

  • Scott

    Yep I do it all the time. I rarely take any sort of scenic during blazing noon so seeing the screen isn’t an issue and it’s much nicer then contorting myself to get my eye up to the viewfinder when I have the camera set nice and low.

    I never have my camera anywhere near eye height when shooting that kind of photograph.

  • Scott

    LOL love the intro. I wonder how many heads that flew over. :D

  • Brad Maestas

    We’ve lost much with the supposed improvements in lens design, namely the increasing exclusion of DOF scales, let alone engravings. They make calculating the hyperfocal distance a simple matter. That’s why nearly all my lenses are manual focus and have engraved distance scales.

  • sdtransfertomich

    Thanks. I guess its also intuitive that these shots are normally done with a tripod which also makes this method easier.

  • Gregory L. Donoghue

    Easy to follow, to the point!

  • walkerfilm

    Next video should be “Simple Tip for Getting Proper Exposure for Simple Tip Videos Every Time”