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Thread: FrankMi - Focus Stacking challenge

  1. #1
    JemC's Avatar
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    FrankMi - Focus Stacking challenge

    Hi everyone

    Well what can i say, while trying to get my head round this i did have a moment where i needed to find a quiet place where i could scream, so frustrating,
    Oh boy do you need patience for this, something which is not my strong point by the way....

    I choose a simple and boring subject to practice on and this is the best i have come up with after about 5 or 6 goes,
    it's not fantastic i know but this is a work in progress, which i feel is going to really mess with my head until i get it right,but going to be fun along the way also, the background has kind of done it's own thing probably down to my level of expertise in this technique.
    i ended up stacking 8 shots on this, i am quite pleased with the end result for a first attempt and look forward to comparing future shots against this in time.
    any and all C+C and tips are welcome on this good or bad
    Thanks for looking :confused




    FrankMi - Focus Stacking challenge

  2. #2

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    Re: FrankMi - Focus Stacking challenge

    Cannot comment on the "product" as I have no idea how this is done.

    Perhaps a short technique introduction?

  3. #3
    JemC's Avatar
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    Re: FrankMi - Focus Stacking challenge

    Hi Bobo

    To quote Frank........

    Focus stacking is where you take multiple images, usually on a tripod, and stitch them together in software, very similar to a pano except that the software looks for the sharpest part of each image in the set and combines them all into one image.

    Let's take a beach scene with some grassy dunes in the foreground, a few sun bathers on the sand, and a sailboat just off-shore. You take a shot focusing on each subject without moving the camera.

    In Photoshop, for example, you load all three images as layers then use Edit/Auto-Align Layers to get all three image in perfect alignment, then Edit/Auto-Blend Layers to merge the three images into one. You can actually do this without the Auto-Blend feature so long as you can make selections to merge layers in your PP software.

    Hope this goes some way in explaining as it's something new to me...

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    Re: FrankMi - Focus Stacking challenge

    Tnanks James.

    What about exposure or is that fixed?

  5. #5
    JemC's Avatar
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    Re: FrankMi - Focus Stacking challenge

    Not to sure on that Bobo,
    hopefully someone else will let us know the answer to that!

    one thing i did find with this, i tried the demo version of Helicon Focus for the stacking, maybe i was doing something wrong? but i actually found photoshop did a far better job so will stick with that for any future attempts.

  6. #6
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    Re: FrankMi - Focus Stacking challenge

    Congratulations James! You're off the ground and flying! Just looking at the 'focus stacking' that you've done, I can see sharp detail from the closest to the furthest objects in the scene so you've successfully accomplished the goal!

    As you have discovered, depending upon the DoF, you may find that you need to take more than just three shots. Usually, the closer the objects are to the lens, the more shots may be needed. You can usually tell by looking carefully at what is sharp and what is not in the viewfinder.

    As for the rest of the technical and compositional settings, they are really no different from any other image that requires multiple images. Just try to keep it as consistent as you can - like you did when shooting the set of images for your panorama.

    If you find that Photoshop doesn't pick exactly what you'd think is the sharpest part of an image to include, you can always mask and blend that part in manually.

    Here's one I did focus stacking on for everything but the background. The subject was about five feet away and as it was windy, the web and spider were blowing all over the place. I may have taken twenty or more shots with my 55-300mm (non-macro) to get five or six I could use to stack. Even at this distance you can count the hairs on its legs. Focus stacking can be a heck of a lot of fun and it'll help you develop some, ah, patience?

    FrankMi - Focus Stacking challenge

    Patience is a virtue, find it if you can.
    Seldom in a woman, never in a man!
    Last edited by FrankMi; 15th November 2011 at 08:45 PM.

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