Macro Photography and Image Stacking

Using PhotoShop CS4's Image Stacking

Using PhotoShop CS4's Image Stacking

Spring is in full bloom, and so are the cherries! I decided I had to have some macro photos of cherry blossoms, and set up my light tent with black background. With a backlight to the right rear, and a main light on the front left, I had a nice balance of light. With a single photo, using my 60mm Canon Macro lens at F11, the depth of field (area in focus) was about 3mm deep. Obviously, this wasn’t enough!

Photoshop CS4 has an image stacking program, that allows for combining several images, focused at different points, into 1 image with the sharpest parts of each. Another, stand alone program that does the same thing, more intuitively, is Helicon Focus. This is a 5 image stack, and you can see in the small example to the left, the 1st image in the stack at 100% magnification, and the final output also at 100%.

I shoot on a very solid tripod, use a remote release, and also find that images are sharper if I use the camera’s mirror lock-up feature.


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