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Thread: A little bit of light stacking

  1. #1

    A little bit of light stacking

    I shot all of these this afternoon. They are all about 6-8 manually focussed RAW shots stacked in Photoshop CS5. I normally use Helicon Focus, but I thought I'd try out CS5. It works well.

    Here's my setup. Studio flash on the left with diffuser. Camera on tripod with electronic cable switch (keeps camera steady when adjusting lens focus). Canon flash gun on right with Gary Fong diffuser to soften light. You can also see the black reflective perspex used for the reflection shot, and the black art board against the wall used a a back-drop. The device on the camera hot-shoe is a Canon STE-2 remote trigger. This fires the Canon flash gun, and it also trips the studio flash at the same time.

    A little bit of light stacking

    C&C welcome.

    A little bit of light stacking

    A little bit of light stacking

    A little bit of light stacking

    A little bit of light stacking

    A little bit of light stacking


    This is a screen-grab of 100% and shows how well CS5 stacks the images.
    A little bit of light stacking

  2. #2
    mythlady's Avatar
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    Re: A little bit of light stacking

    Very nice. I was just trying to do some focus stacking, and even though I synced the photos in Lightroom, when I got to PS (CS4), they weren't exactly alike. Is there a function in CS4 that will line them up correcty? Or is this another reason for me to get CS5?

  3. #3

    Re: A little bit of light stacking

    Quote Originally Posted by mythlady View Post
    Very nice. I was just trying to do some focus stacking, and even though I synced the photos in Lightroom, when I got to PS (CS4), they weren't exactly alike. Is there a function in CS4 that will line them up correcty? Or is this another reason for me to get CS5?
    Hi Elise

    You should be able to do it in CS3 on. I have CS5, but I think it's the same. I normally use Helicon which is a stand-alone program with a few more refinements but CS does it OK.

    1. Load your RAW files to CS RAW edit (ACR) and make RAW edit changes.
    2. Select them all, and hit 'synchronize' then open the images in CS
    3. Don't need to save them, just go to FILE > SCRIPTS > LOAD FILES INTO STACK
    4. When the dialogue box appears make sure you check the 'Attempt to automatically Align Source Images' box... and then continue.
    5. Go to the layers palette and select all the layers (Press CTRL and click each layer or Select=>All layers) then go to Edit/Auto-Blend Layers (tick the box that says 'stack images').
    6. Save your blended image, then cancel all of the RAWs you imported into CS (the actual RAW files will be saved with the changes you applied to them).
    7. Finish editing the blended shot in CS.

    The actual process for doing this is really easy. the hard part is getting good shots to start with, especially the lighting. The more photography I do, the more I realize how important the light is.

  4. #4
    mythlady's Avatar
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    Re: A little bit of light stacking

    Thanks -- I'll give it a try.

  5. #5

    Re: A little bit of light stacking

    Rob

    Gerbera and Seductive are outstanding (see caveats below). Beautifully executed images and the stacking really works here. I have not really been too sure about some of the others since the process sometimes gives an un-natural feel. I think maybe its because the image is too perfect if that makes sense. These two shots are something else though. I am going to crit Seductive though...top left greenery should go in my opinion and just below that the petal looks a little clipped. I thought about a tighter crop but not sure there is room to maneuver (unless the original image is somewhat larger).

    There, just to show I am not skipping down the photographic yellow brick road with Dolly Daydream all the time. And don't forget to pick up all those share certificates when that red box file falls off the desk

  6. #6
    RockNGoalStar's Avatar
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    Re: A little bit of light stacking

    They're all class! I particularly like 'Gerbera'

    I also really like how you've included the first pic... it really shows the amount of thought, time and indeed equipment that goes into producing stunning images like these.

    Excellent work.

  7. #7

    Re: A little bit of light stacking

    Quote Originally Posted by Wirefox View Post
    Rob
    I am going to crit Seductive though...top left greenery should go in my opinion and just below that the petal looks a little clipped. I thought about a tighter crop but not sure there is room to maneuver (unless the original image is somewhat larger).
    Yes, I did think of removing the greenery - great minds think alike I might try that tomorrow.

  8. #8
    LenG's Avatar
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    Re: A little bit of light stacking

    Quote Originally Posted by carregwen View Post
    Yes, I did think of removing the greenery - great minds think alike I might try that tomorrow.
    After looking at this image again with what Wirefox said I have to agree. Remove the greenery for sure. I found my eyes wandering to it too much.

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    Re: A little bit of light stacking

    I know so little about the other Nikon features other than the D40 which I use in class, but my D7000 has a muliple exposure capability which I am going to try out today. Would this work somewhat the same way in a controlled lighting, stationary setup? Also, in CS2, I found an application called, "Photomerge, which is different from merge to HDR." Is this the precursor of "Stacking?"
    I played in PS with the greenery thing, but if you remove the greenery, my eye will be of want to see a little more in the lower right quadrant...but very diminitive in both color and quantity...when I removed the green, it just seemed off balance.

  10. #10
    wilgk's Avatar
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    Re: A little bit of light stacking

    ...to green or not to green?
    I would like it out OR if it is in, then I would like some more in the opposite corner......but then we know I'm a fan of weird and wonderful excel functions

    I do however really really like 'Yellow Rose'

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