Thankyou Frank for all the information. I have a 10D and I use the Canon ZOOM EF 24-70mm 1:2.8L for almost everything. I have had alot of success with Macro type shots since I started using smaller Aperturess and longer Shutter speeds.
Most of them are comming out clear like yout first photo.
When it comes to tack sharp photos and depth of filed like the first photo you have shot that's another matter all together.
I know it's not the equipment it's my lack of experience, my dream is to pull off a photo like your first one with my 10D and thelens mentioned.
I went out yesterday it was cl;oudy but very bright sunlight and tried to take a landscap shot of the trees off in the distance with the big billowy clouds behind them.
I used as many aperture and shutter speed combos as I could and just could not get a tack sharp image like your first photo.
The sky and clouds came out awesome but the trees when you viewd the photo at full size were blurred. This is using a tripod as well and setting the auto timer so I wouldn't touch the camera and maybe cause some shake.
The trees were about 30 yards away if not more and the time of day was about 2 oclock so the sun was shinning bright so light wasn't a factor.
I realize that the Digital SLR's have a tendency to shoot a tad soft but I have achived tack sharp images with subjects that are close, so I would think it would be possible at greater distances as well.
My mind says......Bright light conditions smaller aperture and faster shutter speeds but maybe I'm way off.
I know that some lenses seem to have what I have heard called a sweet spot or a focal length it shoots best at. I don't know this for fact just read it somewhere.
I tried shooting at 24mm and 70mm and in both cases the sky and clouds came out great but thetrees were fuzzy when the photo was viewed at full size.
Well I will just keep trying I'm sure I will figure it out eventually.
Again great phots you have taken I hope to achieve photos like this one day.
Oh I almost forgot.... When I went to the sight you posted for Depth Of Field settings I did a search and came across another sight that has two free software programs for creating and prininting out DOP Charts.
I don't know how good they are havent installed them yet but I thought if they were good prgrams maybe they might be useful.
DOP Depth Of Field Software....FREE
Have a great day.