1 Compose your shot
Find the composition you’d like; do not be afraid to get closer than usual and compose the foreground interest large and prominent in the frame –so long as it falls within the lens’s minimal focusing distance. Outside of this and no matter what technique you use, the foreground will be soft. Use a tripod to ensure all the frames you take are perfectly aligned to make post-production easier.
Set your camera to manual mode or aperture-priority mode and dial in your lens’s ‘sweet spot’ for sharpness – this is usually between f/11-f/16 – for the Zeiss 18mm it’s f/13. Set a low ISO to maintain great image quality and the necessary shutter speed for an accurate exposure. You may need to add an ND Grad to hold back the sky if it’s too bright in relation to the land – I’ve used a 0.6 soft ND grad.
Focus on the subject closest to the camera or, in this case, furthest away – you can do this manually or by using single-point autofocus. I use manual focus with my lens focused to infinity and incrementally move the focusing ring back through the frame – it allows me to be very precise. You can use autofocus too by moving the focal point further into the scene with each shot you take.
4 Refocus the lens
How many frames you need to take depends on the depth of the scene; it could be as few as three frames or as many as 12, but I usually take more than needed to make sure I have covered every area. Once you take your first image, keeping the camera locked in position on the tripod, carefully move the lens in steps using the focus ring and the distance-scale markers.