Focus Stacks

Focus stacking is a way to achieve sharp focus throughout an image. In the majority of cases usually the technique is used more in macro situations where the depth of field of focus is extremely shallow. By fixing the focus to one point manually on the camera and using a focus rail to move the camera forward you can take individual shots of images covering the entire focus range of the subject. The images can then be intelligently combined with special software that produces a final image that has focus back to front, or covering the just the specific area you wish to in focus. 

Taking focus stacks extremely close is very difficult, a reason I love doing them it is a great challenge and a feeling of achievement when it all comes together. Taking shots of live insects using this technique is impossible in some cases so the subjects I use for this technique are casualties of natural death. I hunt window sills, spiders webs, water butts, greenhouses etc and if a candidate is found they are put in pill jars are stored in the freezer till I’m able to find time to begin a project! Don’t tell the wife! ;) 

Below are a few examples of my work and if you use the Free Magines link on the menu and read Issue 2 of the Phototrain magazine you will find an article in depth about the subject and how to go about creating images like these.

© Les Arnott 2013