Landscape Photography Mistake No. 2: Foreground and/or horizon not sharp
There are some creative exceptions, but most landscape images demand huge depth of field with both the foreground and the horizon being sharp.
In many cases this can be achieved by using a relatively small aperture and focusing carefully at the right distance.
Traditionally, serious landscape photographers focus at what is known as the hyperfocal distance.
This is the point at which the maximum depth of field is created for that focal length and aperture setting.
Focusing at this point ensures that no depth of field is wasted by focusing too far into the image and extending the zone of acceptable sharpness beyond the horizon. It also avoids restricting depth of field by focusing on a very close object.
There are hyperfocal distance tables available, but these days landscape enthusiasts are more likely to use a smartphone app such as DoF Master or TackSharp to find out what the focus distance should be for their camera, lens and aperture combination.
Alternatively, the hyperfocal distance can be approximated and the lens focused at a point around one-third into the scene.
This works because depth of field extends approximately twice as far behind the focus point as it does in front.
To be continued…