Let's Learn - Focus Stacking

Focus Stacking

So, a friend and I have a Photo Challenge in place for the rest of 2018. Twice a month we will submit a photo based on a list of subjects. I'm going to use it as an opportunity to try out new techniques or get out of my comfort zone.

For the fist challenge, one of the topics was 'Close-Up'. I've been reading articles, not only about macro photography, but also from landscape photographers who use focus-stacking to get more of their image sharp. I've never done it myself, so let's give it a try!

I did a quick Google search about focus-stacking an found a video by a photographer I follow, Thomas Heaton, explaining his process and so I spent a couple of hours trying it out!

Check out the final image below!


The Final Result


So, this is a combination of 13 images where I started at the bottom of the stem and worked my way up to the top, re-focusing on each shot. I did shoot it wide-open at f/2.8 so I could really see how little depth of field you have shooting a macro wide-open.

It was easy in Photoshop to do, and I'm definitely not a Photoshop user!

1. In Lightroom - Highlight the images you want to stack

2. Choose the menu item Photo > Edit In > Open as Layers in Photoshop. The images will open in Photoshop

3. In Photoshop, let the lawyers load then - Edit > Auto Blend Layers – Then select “Stack Images” in the pop-up window.

4. Let Photoshop work it's magic!

See the images below to see what I would have got without focus-stacking, against the final image!

 f/2.8

f/2.8

 with focus-stacking

with focus-stacking