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!


Blake Rudis
f.64 Academy and f.64 Elite are the brainchildren of Blake Rudis. While he is a landscape photographer, he is most passionate about post-processing images in Photoshop and mentoring others.

For Blake, it's all about the art and process synergy. He dives deep into complex topics and makes them easy to understand through his outside-the-box thinking so that you can use these tricks in your workflow today!
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