All the time I was using my old reliable Kodak DX6490, I was under the impression that for shooting landscapes (and far-off objects), we have to use the ‘landscape’ (usually depicted using a mountain range picture/engraving) mode provided in the camera. For nearby objects, we have to use the ‘portrait’ (usually depicted using a face picture/engraving) mode. The main difference to be noted with these tow modes was that in the landscape mode, the camera did not try to gain focus on a particular object, while int he portrait mode, the camera tried to focus on a specific object in the frame.
Recently, on reviewing images form a recent picnic, I found that in some of the pictures, the face of the tiger was sharper than the face of my family members, who where posing with the tiger. These pictures were shot in ‘portrait’ mode of the camera.
But, on hindsight, I should have shot the pictures using the ‘landscape’ mode.
Why? Simply because landscape and portraits modes do nothing but adjust the aperture size and the duration for a shot. In the landscape mode, the aperture size is set to a larger number (smaller aperture diameter), leading to more objects being in focus.
Using a smaller aperture (large f number), would have made the DoF deeper, resulting in more objects in the frame coming into focus. That way, both the tiger and the family members would have been in focus.
So, the learning is this. Do no blindly follow the settings. Compose a shot based on the subject. Time permitting, take multiple shots at different settings.
PS: Considering I was in a tourist place, it was not possible to stand around trying multiple settings. Add to that, I had to shoot multiple family members with the tiger.