So far we just referred to pushing focus, without the attribute of positive or negative. For the most part, you only need the way we introduced in the core program – which is negative focus pushing. This means moving back from your close-up focal plane, until the image just barely begins to blur.
If you want to be more aggressive about pushing focus, you can now add positive focus pushing to your repertoire:
It is the same principle, except you are coming from a distance with full blur, moving into the positive space (sharp image). You stop as soon as the image clears enough to be legible. At this point you might move back towards the negative space (more blur), and refocus.
Along with Installment #61, by recognizing the double vision image, this practice can help you achieve some additional distance in your work. Some of it is a psychological impact of getting into the range of clear focus, setting a lowered expectation for a sharp image. Try it for a week or two, and see how it affects your close-up work.
This same principle also applies to pulling focus, with a few tricks we will discuss in an upcoming installment (after we finish out the vacation series).