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All Tutorials

June 7, 2011

Macro Photography: Focus Stacking 101

Focus Stacked Result

In this video tutorial I will go though the process of focus stacking using Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop. Focus stacking is a technique which combines multiple images taken at different focus distances to give a resulting image with a greater depth of field (DOF) than any of the individual source images by themselves. Similar to HDR Photoghraphy, focus stacking utilizes only certain parts of each exposure and then blends the results together in a stacked composite.

Photoshop does this by using masks on each layer as you will see in the video tutorial which allows for some flexibility if needed.

Note: I did this tutorial for learning purposes. Taking the photos while recording video is definitely not the preferred way to focus stack. Using this method makes it much easier to explain the concept though, so that is why I did it. Below the video is the images from the stack and the final result. I also used a quarter to make things easy to picture scale wise ect..


Focus Stacking 101 – Video Tutorial

Be sure to select the higher HD video quality in the player options once the video starts.


Focus Stacking Tutorials Photos

Here are the images from the video tutorial so you can get a closer look if you want.


Real World Sample Photos using Focus Stacking

Here’s a few more examples of what you can produce in the real world using the focus stacking technique described above in the video tutorial. It really does work awesome when the depth of field is so shallow you just need more!!

In these photos below I was using Macro Extension tubes, and a Macro lens with a macro Flash unit as well!!

Be sure to click on these photos for the full size version!!

Focus Stacking 101 - Tutorial

Focus Stacking 101 - Tutorial

Here is what the camera set-up looked like when I took these pics above of the dew drops on blades of grass.

Ultimate Macro Camera Set-Up

Canon 5d Mark II, Canon 100mm f/2.8 USM L Macro Lens 3 stacked extension tubes and the Sigma Macro Ring Flash

Focus Stacking 101 - Tutorial

Focus Stacking 101 - Tutorial


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  1. Verne

    Thanks for this uncomplicated method you have so clearly explained.

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