Macro Photography – How to Combine Images for Sharp Photos

If you’re into macro photography, then you would know the absolute importance of bringing out the details of your subjects. May it be different flora found at your local park, that bug that suddenly perched on your lawn fence, or even a piece of coin; these items would look really great if you were to bring out all the nitty-gritty about them in your photograph. And to do that, focus stacking will help immensely. This is a handy technique to extend the depth of field of your macro images. This is commonly used in extreme close-up photography as depth of field is very limited.

Macro Photography - How to Combine Images for Sharp Photos

Use Focus Stacking for Incredibly Sharp Photos in Macro Photography

Step 1 – Perhaps the most vital part of the entire focus stacking technique in macro photography is to secure your camera. Make sure that you have a very sturdy tripod as even the smallest nudge can ruin the entire process. A shutter release cable helps really well too.

Step 2 – Enable live view mode on your camera so that you don’t have to constantly press your face onto the device. Then, turn off all automatic functions on the device and depend solely on Manual mode. Set the optimum aperture first, which is usually at f/8 to f/11 to bring out a great amount of detail on your subject.

Step 3 – The next step in this macro photography exercise is to focus, change the focus, and repeat. Make sure that you’ve turned the auto-focusing system off and only rely on manual focusing for the entire operation. Also, make sure that your subject remains as static as possible.

Step 4  – After shooting multiple images of your subject with different areas of focus, it’s time you get into the post-processing part of the operation. Open all the images in Photoshop, then go to File > Scripts > Load Files Into Stack, then click OK. It will now open all the images into one file but are placed into different layers.

Step 5 – Once everything is loaded properly, select the topmost layer then hold shit then click on the bottom-most layer to select all of the layers. Then, go to Edit > Auto-Align Layers and make sure that Auto is selected prior to hitting OK. This will make sure that all of your photos are aligned properly.

Step 6 – For the final stretch of this macro photography operation, while still having all the layers highlighted, go to Edit > AutoBlend Layers, then make sure that Stack Images and Seamless Tone and Colors are selected. The result is that Photoshop will create a series of layer masks per layer that will only have the sharpest bits of information on each layer. Hence, you will now have a pin sharp image of whatever it is that you took.


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