If you want to take really quick & sneaky photographs on the street without putting your eye to the viewfinder, here’s a sneaky trick.
Setting your lens in manual focus mode, and setting it at its Hyperfocal distance will allow you to take photographs with a great deal of flexibility, often allowing you to shoot from your hip, or while supporting the camera on a steady surface. Very un-obtrusive.
Remember that Hyperfocal distance works best when you’re using a rather small f-stop, like f/16 or f/22, so set your camera in aperture priority mode and shoot on a relatively sunny day, and you’ll find nearly everything in focus. Of course, this works best if you’re using a wide-angle or normal lens.
I’ve managed to get everything from infinity to objects around 4 feet away in good focus while trying this technique recently, with my Nikon F3 and a 50mm lens. It worked great!
Do try it out and let us know how it worked for you, or if you’ve got some other tips involving Hyperfocal Distance or Street Photography, do share them with us in the comments.
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Published: September 20, 2008 | Last Updated: July 21, 2021