Practicing Some Focus Stacking Techniques, Part III
OK, based on what I learned and shared about focus stacking in Parts I & II in this series, I’ve created my ultimate end-goal focus stack photograph by incorporating a watch into the photo. Here it is – just click on the photo to see it full-size:
Like the other two photos in this series, this one was taken with the Canon 5D Mark II. I also went back to my 100mm f2.8 macro lens, and the photo was again taken in my light box, in RAW file format. I largely repeated the steps outlined in part II – this image is a combination of six photographs, each one focusing on a little different are of the photo. The six images were all copied as layers into a single image in Photoshop CS5, and I used the Edit>Auto-Align Layers function followed by Edit>Auto Blend /Stack Images function. The trick to making this photo work was making sure the first exposure I took with my camera was the image where the watch dial was in focus, with the hour, minute, and second hand in the position I wanted for the final image. Predictably, when the layers were stacked into a single image, everything but the watch dial looked great! Since the second hand on the watch dial was moving and varied from shot to shot, the stacked image showed about 5 different second hands. :) At this point, I simple selected the watch dial from the first exposure I took, and copied it as a layer into the stacked image version, and carefully aligned it over the “messed up” dial. All I needed to do then was hit a couple of places with the healing brush to blend it in, and it looked PERFECT! After final color correction, some tone mapping with PhotoEngine, and a lighting filter applied, I was quite pleased with the end result.
I hope you enjoyed reading these three articles as much as I did putting them together.
John B. Holbrook, II
John B. Holbrook, II is a freelance writer, photographer, and author of ThruMyLens.org, as well as LuxuryTyme.com and TheSeamasterReferencePage.com. *All text and images contained in this web site are the original work of the author, John B. Holbrook, II and are copyright protected. Use of any of the information or images without the permission of the author is prohibited.