There are situations when the best method to get a perfectly sharp landscape image is to focus stack it. In this video tutorial, photographer Mark Denney will show you the fastest way to do it and end up with perfect results.
In Mark’s example image, there was not a lot of available light and there was moving water in the frame. He didn’t want to get the “milky” look of the water, but he wanted to capture the movement and detail instead. So, he needed to open up the aperture to f/5.6 so he could shoot at a faster shutter speed. In cases like this, the best way to get a fully sharp photo is to shoot multiple images and focus stack them. And this is what Mark did. He shot a total of three images for this series, and keep in mind that you can shoot more if you want to. This is how Mark did the focus stacking:
Mark’s process begins in Lightroom. After editing the first image, he selects all photos, right-clicks on the edited one and goes to Develop Settings > Sync Settings (or press Alt + Ctrl + Shift + S). By doing this, all your photos will have the exact same treatment applied.
Now, select all your images, right-click and go to Edit in > Open as layers in Photoshop. From here on, you’ll continue the process in Photoshop and your photos will be opened as layers. Highlight all of them and go to Edit > Auto Align Layers and choose “Auto.” This will align your images in case there was a slight movement while you were taking the series of photos.
Once the photos are aligned, you’ll see a bit of the white area around the edges. Crop the image to get rid of it, and now it’s time to proceed to focus stacking. Leave all three images highlighted and go to Edit > Auto Blend Layers and select “Stack Images.” Hit OK, and there you have it – you images are now focus stacked into a perfectly sharp photo.
Simple, isn’t it? Have you tried focus stacking landscape images before using this method? How did it work out for you?
[The FASTEST WAY to FOCUS STACK! |Mark Denney]