Keeping Everything Sharp

January 25, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

In a scene such as this one, it can be challenging to keep everything in the frame in focus. Downtown Austin is far away. But, the statue of Stevie Ray Vaughan is just a few feet in front of my lens.

My first approach is generally to dial in a smaller aperture (f/16 or smaller) to maximize the depth of field. In this case, even a narrow aperture isn't sufficient to keep everything tack sharp. Also, selecting very narrow apertures can introduce image quality issues due to diffraction. Lenses usually perform their best in the middle aperture ranges.

For this photograph, I decided to go with one of the sharpest possible apertures on my lens--f/8. With the camera secured to a tripod, I carefully focused on the statue and triggered the shutter. Then, I shifted focus to the buildings across the river and took a second exposure. Later, in Photoshop, I blended the two images...selecting the sharp statue from one frame and the sharp background from the other frame. The composite image yields sharpness throughout at f/8!

This is an effective trick that I really should utilize more often.

Stevie Ray Vaughan statueStevie Ray Vaughan statueStevie Ray Vaughan statue in front of downtown Austin and the Colorado River from Auditorium Shores in Austin, Texas on January 5, 2014


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