I’m a loyal Craftsy customer and when I got a chance to enroll in a free class, I jumped on the class Photographing Flowers by Harold Davis. I have been a fan of Mr. Davis for his gorgeous flower prints. So I spent a large part of today playing with focus stacking (not mentioned in the class) but pretty important for macro photography. When you take pictures of tiny things, some part of the photo will be in focus and the other parts will not because of the shallow depth of field. Focus stacking solves this problem but requires taking several shots of the same scene, same camera setting, but changing the focus at each shot. The rest is post production using a focus stacking software.
There are plenty of videos and write ups about focus stacking, but they require Photoshop (the full $$$ version) that I can’t afford. So I’ve playing with CombineZ and quite happy with the results. The software is free of charge and there is even a Yahoo Group for support.
For this exercise, I look three shots from the entry level Nikon D3100 and the Tamron f/2 60mm macro lens. Setting is at manual f/2.4 1/125s.
Final picture after CombineZ and Pyramid Weighted Average. Some methods for stacking are more appropriate than others depending on the image. I used brute force and selected “All Methods” macro and selected the one that looks best. In the case, the entire orchid is in focus and everything else should be soft and blurry.