Friday, February 26, 2010

OK...I am trying another technique I recently heard about. I have not got it down just right yet but working towards that goal. These are my first trys at it. Not the "painterly" look but the type of macro shots.

It is a tecnique called "Focus Stacking". Many of you take macro photographs and you have probably noticed that when you take a macro shot you have only the part of the image that you focused on clear and in focus. The rest of the shot is blurred due to the very short focal length in a macro shot. Many times this is what you want in a macro shot...only your target in focus...this helps draw attention to that particular area. But what about times when you would want a very closeup picture and have it all in clear focus? That is when Focus stacking helps.

The software allow you to merge several photos together to from one in focus picture. It sounds a bit like HDR but in reality it is a comepletly different process. With your macro lens on "manual focus" and on a take the first shot focused on an area closest to you. Then you take the next shot with the focus shifted just behind the first, then the third shot etc. etc. etc. You will end up with several images ...each with a different area of the same photo in focus. When you merge all the images each image will contribute to an area in focus and the final product is a macro closeup that is completely in focus.

The first shot of the gumball and birdseed make this point. normally if the gumball was in focus...the seeds in front and back would be blurred but not with Focus Stacking. I will be posting more macros in time as I try to learn this concept. The software I use is Helicon Focus. You can download a free trial version to play around with it if you want.



{Simply} Heather said...

Coooool, Dan. I look forward to see you refining on this technique - as I witnessed your process of HDR :)


Lee said...


In my earlier photography days a friend wanted to take photos of his model trains that looked more realistic (ie good depth of field). Had fun putting aluminium foil at the back of my SLR lens with a tiny pin hole. Got reasonable depth of field but it had a high fiddle factor and a lot of luck on the exposure.

septembermom said...

You do the coolest things Dan! It is very interesting. Like how the pictures came out.

Dan Felstead said...

Thanks heather... we can learn together!


Dan Felstead said...

Lee ...great idea! Like a pinhole camera and you DO get almost complete in focus depth of field with one.


Dan Felstead said...

Thanks Septembermom...I am still learning this one...hopefully better with time!


Glen Hartjes said...

Hi Dan,
I have not tried focus stacking but the results look interesting. Nice work.

DawnTreader said...

Interesting. "No can do" with my type of camera, though...! ;)