I focus on the important stuff that needs the most detail. Again, if the scene is complicated, with important stuff at many different distances from the camera that does not fall on a plane, including stuff very close, then 8x10 is a poor format to choose (for me).
Originally Posted by Michael R 1974
In terms of DOF, my personal style is to just about always use f45. If the focus spread predicts an aperture smaller I usually use f45 anyway, allowing the less important stuff to be out of focus a little and not compromise the stuff needing maximum detail.
For example a scene with tree at 'infinity' and one at 6 feet. The tree at infinity needs maximum detail whereas the close tree can be out of focus and still be recognized as a tree. For me, when it is the other way around (the close three sharp and the infinity stuff out of focus) it looks odd. So I DO NOT use focal spread focusing when I want the stuff at infinity to be sharp. I focus at infinity. So, in the example above, focusing at 20 feet (the middle of the focus spread, but where there is no tree) is a little crazy in terms of making the images I like to make.