1. #1
    Elja Trum is offline Photographer and blogger
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    The Netherlands

    Smile Focus Stacking in Photoshop CS5

    On my blog I wrote a post about focus stacking, I thought it would be useful to post a short version here too.

    Focus stacking is the combining of several images to create one photo with a greater depth of field. It is mainly used in macro photography where you have to deal with small depth of fields.

    First you'll have to shot several photos using a tripod. In each image you'll put the focus point a bit further away on your subject. Make sure you've got some overlap in each image.

    If you have Photoshop CS4 or a newer version you can stack your photos in Photoshop. Start by loading the photos into Photoshop and putting them together in one file. Each photo should have its own layer. The order you use is important; each new layer should be the next step in focus depth. If you mix them up stacking them won't work.

    When you've got all the photos together in one file, select all layers. You can do this by clicking the top layer in the layer palette, hold down your shift key and click the bottom layer. All layers are marked blue now. Go into the edit menu and choose auto-align layers. In the window that opens, just select ok. The automatic mode should do the trick. This process aligns the layers so any movement in between the different shots is corrected.

    Next step is combining the layers into one. Again, choose the edit menu, but this time select auto-blend layers. In the window that appears you choose the blend method Stack Images and also check the Seamless Tones and Colors. Press ok do let Photoshop work its magic.

    In most cases the automated result will be good. If you find something to be off, you can correct it by editing the layer mask Photoshop created. You'll need to crop the edges out to get your final photo.

    It's a fun thing to try and pretty easy too!

    For more information, including a video tutorial on the process, you can check out my article on focus stacking.
    Photofacts; blog about photography..

  2. #2
    swiftmed is offline Concert Photographer
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Plymouth, United Kingdom


    Thanks for this article. As a new person to photography, tips like this will hopefully prove very useful in making me a better photographer.

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