Mentioned in this Episode

Hyperfocal Distance & Depth of Field Calculators

OMNI Calculator
CIC DoF Calculator
DoF Simulator
DoF Master (mobile)

ConvertKit – Set up a free account that lets you have a list with up to 1,000 emails.

Ask Andy a Question

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This episode is all about me answering your questions, which is kind of funny because when I started the podcast, it was called Photography Q&A.

Anyway, this type of episode is dependent on your questions. You can use SpeakPipe to leave a voice recording if you have a question. There is a link in the show notes, or you can go to, and there is a link on the homepage.

You can also email me using the form on the website or text me using the “Ask Andy a Text Question” link in the show notes.

Before you text me, please be aware that this could incur charges, especially if you’re outside North America. Even if you’re in the US or Canada, checking your data plan first is a good idea.

You can also contact me using the Facebook group and Messenger, but I really want those recorded voice messages.

Okay, so let’s get started with Jeff Godfrey’s question …

“My name is Jeff from Wenatchee, Washington. I’ve been going back and listening to some of the older podcasts, and I just listened to number 15 about resizing for printing. I live in a small community with not a lot of local resources, and I’m wondering where people go online to have photos printed or do a lot of people purchase a printer at home and do that all themselves?

Thanks a lot. Bye.”

If you are new to photography, I wouldn’t buy a printer and do it yourself. It can get expensive when you buy a printer, ink, and photo paper.
The best way is to use a photo lab. All of them have an online option where you upload your files, place your order, and receive the prints in the mail.

Do a Google search for “Photo Labs” and get a long list of companies. As far as which one is best, you need to ask the Facebook group members to get an answer.

To start out, you could print your work at Walmart or Walgreens. They are inexpensive and a great option when you’re starting out.

Okay, I think that answers Jeff’s question.

Next question is from Matthew Bissinger …

“Hi, Andy. My name is Matthew Bissinger from Bedford, Virginia, and I just want to have a question for you. I was wondering if a Nikon D3400 is a good camera to start out with. I just got into it, and I’ve just been searching and searching and not sure what to get. Um, my brother in Texas has one. He’s just going to say he was going to send it to me for nothing.

So it’d be a free camera. He only used it two or three times in Hawaii and hasn’t picked it up ever since. This has been in the bag and in his closet for about two, three years now, just sitting there, and I was wondering if a Nikon D3400 is good to use for a beginner. Thank you.”

The Nikon D3400 is an entry-level camera body that was released in 2016. It has a 24 MP DX (crop APS-C) sensor and is a great camera body. Starting out, it will do everything you want it to do.

However, the 18-55mm kit lens is limited. You need a professional lens to make your D3400 a very capable camera. It will focus faster and produce tack sharp photos.

I had a look at the KEH website, and for a little over $300, you can get a 24-70 2.8 lens. The 24-70 f/2.8 is a great lens.
So, to recap, the Nikon D3400 is a really good camera body. There are lots of members in the Facebook group who use them to great effect. As I said, you do need a professional lens to get the best out of it.

Thanks for the question, Matthew.

The next question is from Suzanne Hawken, who was on the podcast in episode 151 back in March …

“Hey, Andy, this is Suzanne Hawken. So last week’s episode, you talked about aperture and when you might want to use aperture priority. So my question for you is, you talked a lot about how aperture is important for when you want to have, you know, distorted background and have bokeh. But what about when you take landscape photography and you want everything to be in focus? What settings should you use for aperture to make sure that everything is in focus? Thanks!”

The one thing you hear a lot is focusing one-third into the scene. It works, but it is a bit of a guess.

To be sure, you need to know the Hyperfocal Distance. The hyperfocal distance is the closest point to the camera that can be focused on and keeps the background sharp.

To find out the hyperfocal distance, you need to use a depth-of-field calculator. I’ll include links to all the ones I’ve found in the show notes and at

Let’s say we are using a Nikon D3400 with a 50mm 1.8 lens, and the aperture is set to f/11. To calculate the hyperfocal distance, I am going to use the PhotoPills calculator.

The hyperfocal distance for that camera, lens, and aperture is 38.32 feet. So you can focus at approximately 40 feet in front of the camera, and everything from that point to infinity will be in focus.

It also gives you the Hyperfocal near limit of 19.16 feet. The near limit means that the first 19 feet in front of the camera won’t be in focus. You can reduce both of these distances by using a higher f-number.

So if we use f/18 instead of f/11, the Hyperfocal distance is 24 feet, and the HD near distance is 12 feet. But a few feet in front of the camera are still out of focus.

If you are composing an image and need absolutely everything in focus, you can use focus stacking.

Focus stacking is a technique in which you take multiple photos and merge them in Lightroom or Photoshop.

For instance, you might be trying to take a photo with some interesting rocks right in front of you. A third of the way into the scene is an old farmhouse, and mountains are way off in the background.

You put your camera on a tripod and take the first shot with the focus point on the rocks in front of you. The second shot is focused on the farmhouse. Then, when you are editing, you can stack the two images and end up with a photo with everything in focus. You can use as many images as you like in your stack, and the big plus is you don’t need to work out the Hyperfocal Distance.

If it doesn’t matter if the first few feet in front of the camera are out of focus, just focus on something one-third of the way into the scene.

Thanks for the question, Suzanne.

Okay, that is all I’ve got for this episode.
I’ll be back next week with more waffle. Talk to you soon, bye.