Focus Stacking

A while back we had a workshop on focus stacking.  Basically, you take 3 or more shots of an image using manual focus.  For this bowl, I focused first on the front, then middle, then back. Tripod, of course!

IMG_3482-bowl front sharp

IMG_3483-bowl middle sharp

IMG_3484-bowl back sharp

I was able to make some minor changes to exposure and stuff by bringing all three into Camera Raw, selecting them all, hitting “Synchronize” so the changes would affect all three at once. Then I clicked Done and opened Photoshop.

The steps in photo stacking are:

  1. File->Scripts->Load files into stack
  2. Browse, select images
  3. Click “Attempt to align source imaged”, then OK
  4. In Layers panel, select all layers (click top one, shift-click bottom one).
  5. Edit->Auto-Blend Layers
  6. Select “Stack Images” and “Seamless Tones and Colors” – then OK

Focus-Stacked Bowl

Being a fan of shallow depth of field, I don’t mind the first image where only the front is in focus. But for portfolio and product work, I understand the value of this technique.


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