My first focus stacked image - Dreamstime

Sometimes, especially in macro world, we want to take a picture of something so that the background is soft or blurry but the main subject is completely in focus. Then we use wide apertures to get that effect. But with wide aperture, the depth of field becomes very shallow and not all the main subject may remain in focus. I've read many articles from the internet and found a solution - Focus Stacking.

Focus stacking means that we take multiple shots of the subject so that the focus point on each pictures is at different locations (by moving lens and camera forward and backwards or playing with focus ring on lens). And because all pictures must be as identical as possible to get perfect result, it is highly recommended to use tripod (when playing with focus ring on lens) and a macro rail (when planning to move the camera back and forth).

So, I decided to try this and the result came out pretty well. The image attached to this article is my first focus stacked photo and made of 13 pictures. I used 100mm f/2.8 lens @2.8 so the debt of filed was very narrow. Stacking images took a some time in PC (it all depends how big are the pictures and how fast is your computer). Once the picture was blended by software, I needed to cut small part of each side because when the focus moves or lens moves, each image becomes slightly different. The software do align all images up or down or right or left but as images moves, not all of them cover sides. So, cropping is needed which means when trying focus stacking then do not picture the object too close. Leave some space to each side.

I actually didn't believe that I reach any good result at first time, but look at that, it came out really good.

Photo credits: Risto Hunt.

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March 07, 2012



March 07, 2012


great tecnique!

March 07, 2012


Very interesting tecnique! Thanks for sharing.

March 07, 2012


That's an interesting blog. Thanks for the new information, very useful.

March 06, 2012


Thanks for sharing, very interesting.

March 06, 2012


In Practical Photoshop for March ( you can read an article about how to master focus stacking in Photoshop.

March 06, 2012


Thanks a lot for sharing your knowledge with us!

March 06, 2012


Thanks for sharing...I also got interrested in focus stacking and I plan to test it this year on my macro shots.

March 06, 2012


Thanks very useful

March 06, 2012


Thanks for the info. I was reading how a photographer of model train layouts used a similar technique but he mentioned some special software. Good to see it can be done in Photoshop.

March 06, 2012


I used photoshop. Instructions available in Internet.

March 06, 2012


Interesting technique and quite impressive result. Congrats and thanks for sharing.

What software did you use for stacking?

March 06, 2012


Interesting technique, not an easy one :)

March 06, 2012


Thank you for share!

March 06, 2012


Useful article.

It's a good result for the first image with new technique :)

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