Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digital SLR and Interchangeable Lens Cameras > Olympus dSLR

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Jun 11, 2011, 11:40 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Dallas, Texas USA
Posts: 6,483
Default Focus Stacking- Anyone tried this?

Attended a macro seminar today at the Heard Nature Photographers meeting and listened to an interesting speaker who utilized focus stacking for virtually all of his nature closeup images.

Instead of stopping down to a small aperture like f16 or smaller to try and get as much in focus as possible, he used an aperture that would retain maximum sharpness, such as f8, and shot several images of the same subject, placing the point of focus progressively front to back, then "stacked" the images where everything, or what zone he wanted in focus, was in totally sharp focus.

In reading up on this after the meeting I noticed Photoshop does do this beginning with CS4. The wind down here has not been calm since, I think, 3 or 4 months ago at least, which would make doing it outdoors a bit difficult since the images have to be able to lineup, so I tried it this evening at home with a couple of figurines.

First time I've done this and I only used 4 images so it's far from perfect. The more incremental focussing you do, the more critically sharp the final image would be. One of the images he showed us today he shot 99 times with different focus points!

These were shot with the E5 and 50-200 SWD at 83mm and f8. I placed the figurines far enough apart there's no way you would get them both in focus at f8 and this far apart, and if you used a very small aperture to do so, diffraction at a small enough setting would adversly soften the image.

Image #1. You can see I started the focus on the front image..



Image #2, where I shifted the focus slightly back, but still on the front image..



In image #3 I shift the focus back on the closest part of the back image..



In image #4 I placed the focus a little further back..



OK, 4 images, shot at the exact same exposure where only the focus points was adjusted. Now, let the fun begin...

1. I processed all 4 RAW files the exact same way. I processed files #1, then just chose to let ACR apply the same parameters to the other three images so all 4 would come out of ACR the same.

2. I then opened all 4 images in Photoshop, progressively copying and pasting all 4 into one file with 4 layers, and I made sure to stack them from image #1 through #4 in the order I shot them so the focus was progressive front to back.

3. Click on EDIT and AUTO ALIGN LAYERS and let the system do its' thing.

4. Then, click on EDIT and AUTO BLEND LAYERS. A box opens with two options. In the case of this one, it automatically picked the right one where it was to output one stacked image. When it finished I clicked on LAYERS and FLATTEN IMAGE so I could save it as a JPEG, and wound up with this final image..



There are, no doubt, some issues with this file and I could have been much more conservative in shifting the focus points to get every inch tack sharp, but for something where I was just playing with it, I was pretty impressed by what Photoshop just does.

This obviously is not something you'd be able to do very well with a subject being blown around outdoors, but I could see someone like Gary really being able to use this on his great flower images and really expanding the depth of field. I plan on doing it going forward when practical. Photoshop certainly makes it easy enough.
Greg Chappell is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Jun 12, 2011, 12:31 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
shoturtle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Frankfurt AM
Posts: 11,348
Default

interesting info as always. I am surprise that the roll of paper towel is not in focus. As the shots you focus on the second had the towels more into focus.
__________________
Super Frequent Flyer, no joke. Ex Patriot and loving it.
Canon Eos 60D, T1i/500D, Eos1, Eos 630, Olympus EPL-1, and a part time Pentax K-X shooter.
shoturtle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 12, 2011, 12:51 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Belize & UK
Posts: 463
Default

Fascinating and most informative - thanks. I hadn't picked up on this facility in PS, but I'll try it.
__________________
Canon 5D & 7D (both gripped), 24-105L, 100-400L, EF-S 15-85, 50 f1.8, Tamron 28-75, Sigma 12-24, G10, A1+10 FD lenses, tripods, lights etc
peterbj7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 12, 2011, 12:57 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Dallas, Texas USA
Posts: 6,483
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by shoturtle View Post
interesting info as always. I am surprise that the roll of paper towel is not in focus. As the shots you focus on the second had the towels more into focus.
The image that was the top file in the layered image was the one where the focus was placed on the front figure and where the paper towels was the least in-focus. Maybe the layer masks are in some way masking out the following files for much of the area other than those areas that are in-focus? Interesting note. I completely missed that looking at the blended file.
Greg Chappell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 12, 2011, 10:32 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Dallas, Texas USA
Posts: 6,483
Default

Here's some images demonstrating image-stacking by the guy who gave yesterday's seminar. It also includes a link to his site.

http://www.cactus-art.biz/gallery/Ph...Lightstone.htm

Last edited by Greg Chappell; Jun 12, 2011 at 11:04 AM.
Greg Chappell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 12, 2011, 5:03 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
boBBrennan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Arlington, Texas USA
Posts: 3,554
Default

......I understand the multi focal point imaging and like the results but the stuff in the middle I don't relate to very well. Nope, I've never tried this!
__________________
.
boBBrennan .. FB=> http://tinyurl.com/dxlwxfz

.......he likes Olympus, Apple MAC & SmugMug best of the choices; he likes that he has choices

boBBrennan.smugmug.com
boBBrennan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 13, 2011, 5:54 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
tkurkowski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Maryland, USA
Posts: 3,625
Default

Thanks for the info. I don't do close-ups much just because I don't care for the small DOF - it's too different from what my eyes see. So I need to try this technique!

Ted
tkurkowski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 13, 2011, 4:23 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Mikefellh's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Toronto, ON, Canada
Posts: 1,707
Default

There's tutorials on YouTube, also on the Helicon focus stacking software.
Mikefellh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 13, 2011, 4:23 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
peru_shyam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 138
Default

Same here, thanks for really sharing this. Still struggling with old version of photoshop. Will buy newer version soon.
__________________
Peru_Shyam
MEL - AUS
peru_shyam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 13, 2011, 7:25 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Belize & UK
Posts: 463
Default

I have the new version. I'm still struggling
__________________
Canon 5D & 7D (both gripped), 24-105L, 100-400L, EF-S 15-85, 50 f1.8, Tamron 28-75, Sigma 12-24, G10, A1+10 FD lenses, tripods, lights etc
peterbj7 is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:00 PM.