Show: Focus Stacking or Bracketing

Antonio Correia

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Hand held stacked three shot

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brerfox

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Focus stacking is probably the only way to get photos like this. The EM-1 II with it's electronic shutter does a great job. In the first shot of this stack, only the stigma was in focus. There were 23 shots in the stack. Processed in Zerene Stacker.

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Julia

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I've got two to share: did automatic focus bracketing in camera (Oly EM1.1), then stacked the images in Affinity Photo (Import → Stack) and manually painted in the different parts to get front to back focus. Since I hand-held the camera during exposure, I did move a little bit and using the automatic stacking would leave me with weird "halos" around the edges. By manually painting in each layer of the image, I could largely avoid that.

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brerfox

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Another stack of 6, yellow tulip.
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brerfox

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A yellow Iris, stack of 4, and a Native Azalea, stack of 8.
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Hendrik

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nine frames stacked in Photoshop.

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Stacked in camera - EM5.2 (hand held)
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Last edited:

WaltP

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I've got two to share: did automatic focus bracketing in camera (Oly EM1.1), then stacked the images in Affinity Photo (Import → Stack) and manually painted in the different parts to get front to back focus. Since I hand-held the camera during exposure, I did move a little bit and using the automatic stacking would leave me with weird "halos" around the edges. By manually painting in each layer of the image, I could largely avoid that.

View attachment 743849 View attachment 743850
@Julia have you compared hand-painting with Photoshop's Auto-Align and Auto-Blend? Should I just skip trying to learn those functions?
 

Julia

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@Julia have you compared hand-painting with Photoshop's Auto-Align and Auto-Blend? Should I just skip trying to learn those functions?
Hey there! I can't speak to how PS does it since I don't subscribe to Adobe's services. I intentionally picked Affinity because it's a one-time payment app, not a subscription service.

I would suggest you try PS's automatic features first. Best case scenario they'll do the trick for you and you'll get a great result quickly. If you find that you don't like the result, then you can still dive into YouTube to pick up the skills to do it manually. It's not difficult at all, just really time consuming.
 

WaltP

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Hey there! I can't speak to how PS does it since I don't subscribe to Adobe's services. I intentionally picked Affinity because it's a one-time payment app, not a subscription service.

I would suggest you try PS's automatic features first. Best case scenario they'll do the trick for you and you'll get a great result quickly. If you find that you don't like the result, then you can still dive into YouTube to pick up the skills to do it manually. It's not difficult at all, just really time consuming.
So Affinity's "File | New Focus Stack" is not good enough to learn either? Bummer.
 
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Took this pic yesterday, the orange colour is so vibrant in real life, it's a very hard colour to capture digitally. Stacked using the EM5/2 in cam stacking.

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Julia

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So Affinity's "File | New Focus Stack" is not good enough to learn either? Bummer.
Hey WaltP, not sure what you mean–sorry. You asked about Photoshop, not sure what our Affinity question is? Maybe move it to direct message, don't want to hijack the thread.
 

archaeopteryx

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Young leaves of what I believe is island scrub oak (Quercus pacifica) though, as is often the case for botanical stacks, I'm not finding references which show comparable levels of detail across leaf development stages so there is some uncertainty over lobe development, hair retraction, and chloroplast infill. 76 4k post-focus frames shredded with ffmpeg and stacked using Picolay.
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archaeopteryx

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80 frames 4k post focus and Picolay as usual with halo reduction in GIMP. Has anyone worked out a method they like for local contrast enhancement in outer haloed areas like gauzy zones here? I'm using a contrast mask layer to mitigate the halo but it isn't entirely successful.
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archaeopteryx

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106 stack, usual methods.
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