Focus stacking is the new lens flare, which was the new off camera flash, which was the new HDR, which was the new….. there are always trends and fads and now it is focus stacking. This does make it sound as if I think this is a pointless activity but I don’t, in the right situation it is utterly brilliant and if you like making sharp pictures front to back, whether landscapes or macro flowers this is for you.
Shooting anything up close requires incredible patience and extreme precision. If your close-up photography isn’t sharp then you’re not only wasting pictures, but you’ve wasted hours of your time. In this in-depth tutorial we’ll show you how to use one of the most amazing Photoshop effects macro and close-up photographers can use: focus stacking.
Below we’ll show you step-by-step how to focus stack and extend depth of field when shooting close-up by shifting your point of focus in multiple images, which you’ll later stitch together so you can produce images that are sharp throughout the frame.
One of the best things about close-up photography is the wonderful softness that results from working with such a shallow depth of field.
Even at the smallest apertures the plane of focus will stretch to a couple of centimetres at most, and anything outside this range will fall off into beautiful bokeh.
At times, however, this can be a problem –especially if you’d like a completely sharp subject. Stopping down the aperture will increase depth of field, but sometimes this simply isn’t enough to achieve sharpness across the subject from front to back.
The solution: fix the camera to a tripod and shoot several frames, each with a small shift in focus, then use Photoshop to combine the sharp areas to create a single pin-sharp image.
Read the rest of this very useful article from Digital Camera World here
we have an advanced DSLR course where one of the things we teach is focus stacking, go here for more information