Focus stacking

Focus stacking is a method used to merge pictures with different focal planes to one single image with an extended Depth of Field (DOF). Focus stacking is useful when the depth of field is shallow, this is typically the case in macro photography and in microscope photography. Focus stacking can also be usefull in normal photography.

Focus stacking, what is it

Focus stacking is a method used to merge pictures with different focal planes

Focus stacking, landscape example
Focus stacking, landscape example, Photo Jörgen Hellberg

Focus shifting or bracketing

One method to acquire the photos for Focus stacking is focus shifting or bracketing

Cladonia (cup lichen)
Cladonia (cup lichen), photo Jörgen Hellberg

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Choosing software for Focus Stacking – step 1 speed

Choice of computer, hard drive and software affects the time it takes to do a focus stack.

Hippeastrum flower pollen
Hippeastrum flower pollen, photo Jörgen Hellberg

Choosing software for Focus stacking – step 2 basic retouching

There is almost no stacking that does not need some retouching after the stacking is done. It is therefore important that you choose a focus stacking software that fits your work process.

Nettle, photo Jörgen Hellberg
Two butterfly scales, Photo Jörgen Hellberg 

Two butterfly scales that are up side down, I used EPI light polarized so that the reflections are enhanced (the opposite of cross polarization). A focus stack with 255 photos, 0,00055 mm stepsize, Nikon BD plan apo 40x NA 0.80 microscope objective, Canon 6D camera, stacked in Zerene Stacker.


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