When one shot just won’t cut it, take many!

With Macro Photography one shot usually will not cut it.  This is due to the high levels of magnification and the effect they have on Depth of Field.  f/2.8 on a normal lens has limited depth of field and creates that soft dreaming bokeh effect.  Anything in the plane of focus will be in focus and anything outside that plane will gradually blur.  The plane of focus narrows with a Macro lens and as the magnification increases the focus plane decreases sometimes leaving only a sliver of focus in the focus plane.

Focus Stack Example

In this representation, the Light Cyan strip represents the area in focus for the given magnification. This is merely a representation, practical field tests will vary dependent upon Aperture.

 

This makes it imperative to get the most important elements in focus, but sometimes that one sliver is not enough… even at f/10 – 16!  So what do you do?

You take multiple exposures at varying focus planes and stack them in Photoshop.  This allows you to get all of the areas of focus you shot into one photo.  While this is traditionally a Macro technique, you can do the very same thing with Landscape images.

Let’s say your Landscape is extremely vast and even f/16 can’t get everything in focus.  You should take 2-3 pictures each with varying levels of focus.  One for the Foreground, one for the middle ground and one for the background.  When you have all of the exposures, bring them into Photoshop and stack them using the technique in this tutorial!

Enjoy!

 


 

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Blake Rudis
Creator of f.64 Academy
Most people think I am passionate about Photography, but in reality I am not.

WHAT!?!

Wait, before you freak out, you are on a photo site, I am addicted to post processing. To be more specific, I am addicted to workflow efficiency and cracking the codes to complex systems. That's what I do here, crack the code to photo post processing and present it in a concise way, for you :)
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