I saw something on Focus Stacking while getting sucked down the rabbit hole of the internet and realized I've never used that technique before. With a quick bit of searching I figured out how I wanted to go about it. I was left with what to use as a subject. I chose to use my new Whiskey Ink and Lace Grooming Kit

The reason to use focus stacking in this case is to emphasize the depth of field and help isolate the product. If you were to use a regular photo with the aperture needed to get everything in focus, you end up with a larger depth of field and a little bit of a cleaner background, similar to this image:

If you try to get the depth of field you want to isolate the subject, you don't get all the subject in focus. Below are two of the photos I used for the Focus stacks. You can see the shallow depth of field only allows for parts of the products to be in focus. My goal here is the same depth of field while having all the subject in focus. 

The process fairly simple. Set up your camera on a tripod to keep the position the same through out the stack. Using a remote might help keep the camera in one spot also. The less you touch the camera the less chance there is for movement. Start with one end of your subject in focus and take a photo. Move the focus back slightly and take another photo, using live view helped make this process easier. Repeat this process until you reach the other end of your subject. Depending on your subject and desired effect you may need to take anywhere from 10-30+ photos. Here's a short timelapse shot with a GoPro while I did the focus stacking.

Once you are done shooting, load the images as layers in a Photoshop file and align them. Using the Stack option in the Auto-Blend tool, Photoshop takes care of all the hard work for you. After it blends, I only had to do some minor cloning to take care of things that moved because of the wind. You end up with the final products below.

Share and comment below!

  • Calvin Ho

    on June 20, 2014

    Always good to know another skill.

  • 1904Photography

    on June 19, 2014

    Well the post is nothing but a few extra clicks. the real time is in the extra photos. But to address the long lens question, a longer lens will still result in too shallow or too great a depth of field than desired. Theres a good six inches of focus here. I don't that would be possible while still throwing out the background like it is.

  • Calvin Ho

    on June 19, 2014

    Could you not also use a longer lens with a decently wide aperture and skip all the post processing?

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