Ugly Hedgehog - Photography Forum
Learning how to focus stack
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Jan 13, 2021 23:41:32   #
CindyHouk Loc: Columbia Falls MT
 
Went out the other day specifically to learn how to create a focus stacked image. Setup with a tripod at a small crick that runs by the house. These have from 2 to 6 photo's stacked. Any suggestions on doing better? What do you think of how they are processed..would you do something different?

Cindy


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Jan 14, 2021 04:56:56   #
Don, the 2nd son Loc: Crowded Florida
 
Beautifully done!

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Jan 14, 2021 05:59:53   #
aphelps Loc: Central Ohio
 
CindyHouk wrote:
Went out the other day specifically to learn how to create a focus stacked image. Setup with a tripod at a small crick that runs by the house. These have from 2 to 6 photo's stacked. Any suggestions on doing better? What do you think of how they are processed..would you do something different?

Cindy


They all are beautiful. On the first one you could have gone a little deeper in dof to pick up a little more background but that's a nit. Well done. What software did you use to process the stack?

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Jan 14, 2021 07:06:35   #
Ourspolair
 
Hi Cindy! I had a long look at these photos and a couple of things struck me. The first is that you have done a great job here. Each of these images is slightly different, and so to give you an overall opinion is tough.
Using a long exposure to get the water flow the way you like it, and the foreshortening caused by the 90mm lens are fooling my brain a bit, but here goes...
On the second shot, I would take an extra capture with the foreground rock in focus and another for the background, displaying the whole scene in sharp focus. I would also increase the shutter speed to "freeze" the water. Multiple exposures will give you the "flowing" water effect without the long exposure.
The third shot is close to perfect - perhaps an additional capture focused on the foreground would increase the "punch", although a bit of added dynamic contrast might do the trick.
Your post processing has created beautiful renderings of this peaceful forest scene, a little added dynamic contrast would bring out the fine detail in the rock structures, but that may not be to your taste.
Well done - I hope that you find my comments useful.
Please stay safe and keep on sharing the great work.

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Jan 14, 2021 07:42:33   #
Don W-37 Loc: Bangkok, Thailand
 
Cindy,
I can't argue with the above guidance one way or the other, but I think you have done a great job. (As usual!) Especially for a first try!

You have motivated me to get out and give it a go myself. I've had my D850 for 1 year this month, but haven't tried that feature yet. Thanks for the nudge,
Don

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Jan 14, 2021 09:13:59   #
AzPicLady Loc: Behind the camera!
 
I have only tried focus stacking a few times and none of them were very successful. So I think you did great. To my eyes the fourth image is the best of the bunch (hope I counted correctly!). The purpose of the exercise is to make it undetectable that the artist used that process to obtain the final image - or at least that's my understanding. Getting everything in sharp focus does sort of play with the brain a bit, as we're accustomed to things being further away being out of focus a tad. So it (to me, at least) puts everything on the same plain.

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Jan 14, 2021 09:49:48   #
CindyHouk Loc: Columbia Falls MT
 
Don, the 2nd son wrote:
Beautifully done!


Thank you!

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Jan 14, 2021 09:50:30   #
CindyHouk Loc: Columbia Falls MT
 
aphelps wrote:
They all are beautiful. On the first one you could have gone a little deeper in dof to pick up a little more background but that's a nit. Well done. What software did you use to process the stack?


Thanks! I used PS to process them...it was fun learning how to do this.

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Jan 14, 2021 09:53:07   #
CindyHouk Loc: Columbia Falls MT
 
Ourspolair wrote:
Hi Cindy! I had a long look at these photos and a couple of things struck me. The first is that you have done a great job here. Each of these images is slightly different, and so to give you an overall opinion is tough.
Using a long exposure to get the water flow the way you like it, and the foreshortening caused by the 90mm lens are fooling my brain a bit, but here goes...
On the second shot, I would take an extra capture with the foreground rock in focus and another for the background, displaying the whole scene in sharp focus. I would also increase the shutter speed to "freeze" the water. Multiple exposures will give you the "flowing" water effect without the long exposure.
The third shot is close to perfect - perhaps an additional capture focused on the foreground would increase the "punch", although a bit of added dynamic contrast might do the trick.
Your post processing has created beautiful renderings of this peaceful forest scene, a little added dynamic contrast would bring out the fine detail in the rock structures, but that may not be to your taste.
Well done - I hope that you find my comments useful.
Please stay safe and keep on sharing the great work.
Hi Cindy! I had a long look at these photos and a ... (show quote)


Thank you so much .....I appreciate the help and it's what I was asking for. Since this was the first time trying this, I know there is room for improvement!

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Jan 14, 2021 09:53:52   #
CindyHouk Loc: Columbia Falls MT
 
Don W-37 wrote:
Cindy,
I can't argue with the above guidance one way or the other, but I think you have done a great job. (As usual!) Especially for a first try!

You have motivated me to get out and give it a go myself. I've had my D850 for 1 year this month, but haven't tried that feature yet. Thanks for the nudge,
Don


Thanks Don! It's always fun learning new things....give it a try!

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Jan 14, 2021 09:55:54   #
CindyHouk Loc: Columbia Falls MT
 
AzPicLady wrote:
I have only tried focus stacking a few times and none of them were very successful. So I think you did great. To my eyes the fourth image is the best of the bunch (hope I counted correctly!). The purpose of the exercise is to make it undetectable that the artist used that process to obtain the final image - or at least that's my understanding. Getting everything in sharp focus does sort of play with the brain a bit, as we're accustomed to things being further away being out of focus a tad. So it (to me, at least) puts everything on the same plain.
I have only tried focus stacking a few times and n... (show quote)


Thanks! It does play with the brain a little to have everything in focus and it was fun learning how to take the shots as well as how to process them. I will be trying this again and hope to get better at it!

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Jan 14, 2021 10:23:04   #
UTMike Loc: South Jordan, UT
 
A great start, Cindy! Keep it up.

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Jan 14, 2021 10:43:14   #
kpmac Loc: Ragley, La
 
It's a great start, Cindy. I am thinking of trying some stacking, too. I doubt that I could do better without lots of practice and sturdy.

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Jan 14, 2021 12:02:57   #
BurghByrd
 
Very nicely done and this can be a good technique for capturing additional detail. Be aware though that there are pitfalls when using this technique on subjects that can contain movement. I've discovered that in my own attempts. In one of my shots I captured a pedestrian at a great distance who shows up as three identical people in line walking a path. "They" were far enought away and small enough in the photo that I chose to ignore them. In your shot #2 there is a small chevy logo (bowtie) shaped anomaly greated I suspect by the stacking algorithm trying to deal with differences between the images of the flowing water which was rendered as you see it. The bow tie artifact is in the largest water flow in the top tier to the right of the log. It does not detract significantly from the photograph but is an example of what movement can do to photo stacking attempts. Thanks for sharing these with us.

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Jan 14, 2021 13:18:20   #
CindyHouk Loc: Columbia Falls MT
 
BurghByrd wrote:
Very nicely done and this can be a good technique for capturing additional detail. Be aware though that there are pitfalls when using this technique on subjects that can contain movement. I've discovered that in my own attempts. In one of my shots I captured a pedestrian at a great distance who shows up as three identical people in line walking a path. "They" were far enought away and small enough in the photo that I chose to ignore them. In your shot #2 there is a small chevy logo (bowtie) shaped anomaly greated I suspect by the stacking algorithm trying to deal with differences between the images of the flowing water which was rendered as you see it. The bow tie artifact is in the largest water flow in the top tier to the right of the log. It does not detract significantly from the photograph but is an example of what movement can do to photo stacking attempts. Thanks for sharing these with us.
Very nicely done and this can be a good technique ... (show quote)


Thanks!! I didn't notice those spots, they do show up here if you double download ...thanks for telling...there are some in almost all of the photo's and not only in the water but some are on the logs and rocks....is that something I can fix while I am doing the stack or just clone them out afterwards?

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