Monday, August 12, 2013

Focus Stacking

When shooting close-ups, especially with a fair bit of telephoto, you end up with a very shallow depth of focus. I took these two shots to see whether it would look better with the focus on the bud or the larger petals.

But neither of them really excited me. Flipping between them, I realized they were so similar that I could probably "focus stack" them in Photoshop. i.e. merge the two photos, retaining the best focused parts of each. It was a good opportunity to try a new technique. The result still wasn't one of my favorites, but it's pretty cool how well it works, especially since the process is fully automatic.

The normal advice is that you need to use a tripod to do focus stacking to ensure that you don't move between shots. But this seemed to work ok even though it was handheld. You'd also normally take more than two shots.

It would be nice if my K5ii had a focus bracketing feature - that would make it a lot easier to get just the right focus (or to do focus stacking). Exposure bracketing is more common, along with the equivalent stacking for HDR (high dynamic range).

[My apologies to the non-techies and non-photographics. If I'm not careful this is going to turn into a photography blog.]

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