Stacked Focus

On October 10, 2013, in Italy, Photography Tips, by admin
Campanile di Mazzorbo

Campanile di Mazzorbo, Island of Mazzorbo in Venice Lagoon

This is the Campanile di Mazzorbo on the island of Mazzorbo in Venice Lagoon.  I really wanted to get the flowers in the foreground and the campanile in the back to be in focus.  Given how close the flowers were to the lens and the distance to the campanile, there was just no amount of depth-of-field that would do the trick.  Instead, I used a technique called “stacked focus”.  In this case I took two images.  The first focused on the flowers in the foreground.  The second, without moving my camera (use a tripod) focused on the campanile.  In both cases I used manual focus on my lens to be sure the proper element was in focus.

I used Photoshop to do the stacked focus.  Put both images on the same pallet as separate layers and then use the Edit -> Auto-Align Layers command to properly align the images.  Then use the Edit -> Auto-Blend Layers command to blend them.  Hocus, pocus, stacked focus!

Stacked focus works very well in macro photography.  When you use your macro lens on flowers, take several images while focusing along the flower from front to rear.  After you stack them the flower will be sharp throughout.

By the way, is it just me or do all towers in Venice lean to one side?  This was at least the fourth one we saw during our stay.
Location: N45 29 19.63  E012 12 42.76

Leave a Reply