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Thread: Focus stacking for fly photos

  1. #1

    Default Focus stacking for fly photos

    Only just found out (having been shown by a pal) how easy it is to do focus stacking in Photoshop. It's a problem doing macro shots when you need a huge depth of field relative to the subject/framing and you just can't stop-down to anything like what is required - plus you are running into diffraction issues when fully stopped-down. (Unless, of course, you want a limited depth of field for artistic effect - in which case, carry on as you were.)

    So, the answer is to take one image focused on the nearest point, then shift focus back a bit, take another, then move focus, take another... and so on until you are focusing on the furthest point. Too much hassle and must be really tricky to get everything aligned, eh? Nope - turns out it is a piece of piss in Photoshop - wish I'd known years ago. Only takes one minute to shoot a set of images - I took 10 frames for my first attempt. Then, feed them to Photoshop, and it does all the stacking and aligning and blending for you. It's literally a case of pressing a few keys.

    Here is frame 1...

    <Click on image and + for largest view>


    Here is the stacked set of 10 frames...




    Col
    Please note that any views expressed in this post may be those of the
    originator and do not necessarily reflect those of the reader.

  2. #2
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    Red face Re: Focus stacking for fly photos

    Wow! That is pretty neat!

    Like the fly too - one of my favourites & very underrated,

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Focus stacking for fly photos

    The Panasonic LX15 does that using 4k technology - it shifts focus during a short movie and you can extract stills for stacking.

    Alternatively, a Cognisys StackShot and a good macro lens ...

    PS Nice photos

  4. #4

    Default Re: Focus stacking for fly photos

    Quote Originally Posted by fatshark View Post
    The Panasonic LX15 does that using 4k technology - it shifts focus during a short movie and you can extract stills for stacking.

    Alternatively, a Cognisys StackShot and a good macro lens ...
    The beauty of the Photoshop method is that there is no special equipment required. You can do it with any camera.

    You don't even need parfocality - Photoshop adjusts each image to fit the stack. You do, in lieu of specific equipment, need Photoshop.

    Col
    Please note that any views expressed in this post may be those of the
    originator and do not necessarily reflect those of the reader.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Focus stacking for fly photos

    And, disappointingly, Photoshop, the camera and the Stackshot are all about the same price

    How did you do the lighting? Light tent presumably?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Focus stacking for fly photos

    Wow that’s amazing! Downside is it leaves nowhere to hide

  7. #7

    Default Re: Focus stacking for fly photos

    Quote Originally Posted by fatshark View Post
    And, disappointingly, Photoshop, the camera and the Stackshot are all about the same price
    These days I subscribe to Photoshop - I think it is still under £100 a year for the whole shebang. For sure it depends on how much photography you do, but for me it's a no-brainer.

    Quote Originally Posted by fatshark View Post
    How did you do the lighting? Light tent presumably?
    Yes, a simple light tent with 4 integral daylight lamps. Frames shot in manual exposure, at around +2.5 EV to give the white background.

    Col

    ---------- Post added at 09:55 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:53 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by iainmortimer View Post
    Downside is it leaves nowhere to hide
    Tell me about it!
    Please note that any views expressed in this post may be those of the
    originator and do not necessarily reflect those of the reader.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Focus stacking for fly photos

    Very nice example of the benefits of this technique Colin. I have meant to try this myself for ages now so must get on with it now I see how good the results can look.
    Kirsty Hewitt
    Fish and Fly Ltd
    Hidden Content

  9. #9

    Default Re: Focus stacking for fly photos

    I should have added the method...

    Open all images in ACR, select all, do whatever processing you want on them, then open the lot in Photoshop.

    Then, go File > Scripts > Load Files Into Stack > Add Open Files. You can opt to correct alignment, but do not click on Convert to Smart Object.

    This makes each frame into a layer in a new file. You can now close the individual frames.

    Make sure all individual layers are active/selected. Then go...

    Edit > Auto Align Layers > Select the 'Auto' option. Then go...

    Edit > Auto Blend Layers > Stack Images..

    Job done.

    If you are using a set of JPEGs, or an already saved set of processed frames, you just start with... File > Scripts > Load Files Into Stack... and then browse to the saved files...

    Col
    Please note that any views expressed in this post may be those of the
    originator and do not necessarily reflect those of the reader.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Focus stacking for fly photos

    Quote Originally Posted by Cap'n Fishy View Post
    I should have added the method...

    Open all images in ACR, select all, do whatever processing you want on them, then open the lot in Photoshop.

    Then, go File > Scripts > Load Files Into Stack > Add Open Files. You can opt to correct alignment, but do not click on Convert to Smart Object.

    This makes each frame into a layer in a new file. You can now close the individual frames.

    Make sure all individual layers are active/selected. Then go...

    Edit > Auto Align Layers > Select the 'Auto' option. Then go...

    Edit > Auto Blend Layers > Stack Images..

    Job done.

    If you are using a set of JPEGs, or an already saved set of processed frames, you just start with... File > Scripts > Load Files Into Stack... and then browse to the saved files...

    Col
    I was lost on the first sentence. For a complete technophobe it all sounds like a foreign language to me but no doubt a very useful tool Col. I'm just a point and shoot and hope for the best kind of guy but it would be nice to have a better understanding of the finer intricacies of the photographic world for sure.

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