Focus Stacking: When It Worked And When It Didn’t

by | Nov 15, 2016 | Tips & Tricks | 0 comments

Just got back from a fantastic weekend in Virginia, attending the Family Encouragement Weekend with the family!


[Read more about what I’ve learned taking pictures at FEW Conferences in the past: Challenges of Shooting a Family Conference]

But something else happened over the weekend that I thought I’d share about. Did you notice the full moon?

[Read more about how to capture the full moon: Finally! The Moonset I’ve Been Waiting For!]

To make the moon as large as possible and to fill the frame with an interesting foreground, I wanted to use my zoom lens. This created a problem. If the sheep were in focus, the moon would be out of focus. Like this:

161113-James Staddon_1944

And if the moon was in focus, the sheep would be out of focus. Like this:

161113-James Staddon_1945

This was the perfect time to experiment with focus stacking. I was surprised at the challenged I faced in doing the merge, but I eventually came out with this result:

161113-James Staddon_merged

There are some obvious problems with this merge, but I figured it was a good first try!

I tried the same thing the next morning. The moonrise was beautiful! However, I made some mistakes in photographing the merge that make it almost impossible to merge. I figured it was too much work to try and get the merge right this time, and just left it as it is. Looking forward to experimenting with this more in the future!

161114-James Staddon_1968

If you’d like to learn how to do focus stacking and not make the same mistakes I did, PRO Members feel free to ask about it on the PRO Forums!


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