I Love Egypt!

Thursday, December 27, 2018

What Is Focus Stacking?

A big part of photography is coming up with creative ways to overcome the limits of the laws of physics. One of these techniques is focus stacking.

Even wide angle lenses at narrow apertures—a combination which gives you the broadest possible depth of field—can’t have both the extreme foreground and extreme background in sharp focus. You can come close, but if, say, there’s a cool shell right in front of you, and something else of interest in the distance, one or both of them is going to be a little bit blurry. Just look at this photo.

While it’s not bad, the shell is less sharp than I’d like while the castle on the island is in focus, or as much in focus as is possible with my setup.

Here’s a photo where I focused on the shell instead.

While it looks much the same at web resolution when you zoom in on the high res file, you can see the shell is in sharper focus—look at the rings around the shell as well as the small pebbles nearby to see it—while the castle on the island isn’t.

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