To Infinity! Alternate title; Read the manual!
Taking pretty pictures is easy. Taking technically correct pictures is hard. Knowing why a picture is “good” is important. Aperture, shutter speed, ISO and where you focus will all work together to make a big old bowl of great photo soup. Take your camera off the auto settings (and read the manual!) and learn how to consistently get the look you are going for.
Freelensing was all about free-wheeling creativity. Hyperfocal Focusing is the exact opposite. First off, the lens stays attached to the camera body 100% of the time but secondly hyperfocal photography involves set rules. Hyperfocal photography is when you adjust the aperture and point of focus so that everything from a desired point (usually the foreground) to infinity is in focus. Some lucky people have features on their lens that will tell them when hyperfocal focus has been achieved (again, read the manual!) the rest of us need to figure it out on our own.
The hyperfocal rule is that your depth of field (the area in focus) is always 1/3 in front of the focus point, and 2/3 behind it. What that means is that if you focus on something 10 feet away your depth of field is 3 feet, everything from 9 feet to 12 feet away from you will be in focus. So, you might be asking yourself, what does that have to do with the price of tea in China (or whatever it is you say when you want to know why something is relevant to you). My answer would be Antelope Canyon (stay with me here, I promise this is going somewhere). I see tons of these pictures. Much of the time the wonderfully swoopy layers of rock are out of focus either in the front or the back. If you are going all the way out to the middle of nowhere (far away from real toilets) to see some rocks you might as well take a few minutes to learn how to take pictures of said rocks. Really hyperfocal photography is something you need for shooting any type of landscape or city.
You’ll need to set your lens to 50mm or higher. You’ll want to shoot at a “small” (meaning a higher numbered F stop). I used aperture priority f/11 and let the camera set my shutter speed. Point your camera at something. Look through the viewfinder and focus about 1/3 of the way into the scene. Take the picture. If you are very very Type A you can use a calculator, although you’ll probably miss that great shot you wanted whilst you are putzing around with those numbers. If you need a visual please click on the awesome drawing!
I used downtown Durham for my photos because I love it and I live there. Urban valleys are great for this sort of thing. I tried to shoot as I would at a wedding where you don’t have a lot of time to do calculations or use the depth of field preview (you spent a lot of money on your camera, for the love of all that is holy read the manual and figure out how to use it!) that most DSLRs come with and often have to shoot from the hip (so to speak). It would be somewhat awkward to ask the pastor to announce the happy couple as man and wife a second time cause I missed the shot. Not every picture here is the best example of hyperfocal photography; some of them I just liked.