Focus Stacking Without Photoshop

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.

Photo 1 of 3. Image is sharpest at lip of orchid.

Photo 1 of 3. Image is sharpest at lip of orchid.

Photo 2 of 3. Image is sharpest at petal.

Photo 2 of 3. Image is sharpest at petal.

Photo 3 of 3. Image is sharpest at inside of orchid.

Photo 3 of 3. Image is sharpest at inside of orchid.

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.

Final image of orchid after being stacked by CombineZP.

Final image of orchid after being stacked by CombineZP.

Advertisements

About knottyewe

Blogging about knitting, making yarn, and making socks.
This entry was posted in Photography and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s