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.