Panoramas and Extended Depth of Field
This is an example of combining a special extended focus program with a stitched image. I did this shot as a test, and it worked really well, I’ve used this technique on several “impossible” images! My photo has the closest ice/snow crystals about 10″ from the 17mm lens, which was stopped down to F 8.0. the full image is 2 rows by 2 columns, the lower row actually is 3 images combined into 1 for each of the 2 images.
On this I used Helicon Focus, which allows you to shoot on a tripod, identical images, but focused at different points, then combine the sharpest parts of each into 1 image with whatever depth of field you desire. Now, PhotoShop CS4 also offers this ability, although less intuitive in use.
So, I first shot the close shots of the crystals and foreground focused at 12″, 3′, and 8′ and combined then using Helicon, then the top row, focused at about 14′, which gave me enough depth of field to be sharp from about 10′ to infinity. The 4 final images were stitched in PTgui, with extreme depth of focus!