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So, I have been experimenting with image stacking in photoshop and it has been a tad hit-and-miss. I know that this is used to great effect by macro photographers and I did have a bit of success with this but I hoped to use it more for landscapes and my theory was that it might help get some really sharp details in the foreground in particular. It seems however to be a difficult one to master - the slightest change in sun or shadow and the whole thing gets a bit rubbish. I did find that results imroved by keeping down the number of images to about 3-5 (I started with about 15 per shot and it got really poor).

 

Any top tips for using this technique for lanscapes or is it just not meant for that?

 

Bob

 

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Download Zerene stacker from the web. It's free for a month then you have to buy!

Regards, davey

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So, I have been experimenting with image stacking in photoshop and it has been a tad hit-and-miss. I know that this is used to great effect by macro photographers and I did have a bit of success with this but I hoped to use it more for landscapes and my theory was that it might help get some really sharp details in the foreground in particular. It seems however to be a difficult one to master - the slightest change in sun or shadow and the whole thing gets a bit rubbish. I did find that results imroved by keeping down the number of images to about 3-5 (I started with about 15 per shot and it got really poor).

 

Any top tips for using this technique for lanscapes or is it just not meant for that?

 

Bob

I sometimes stack 2 or 3 landscape images. I've never found it necessary to stack more as of my landscapes are taken with Wide angle lens at F8 or F11, so there's lots of DOF to start with. I use PSE to automatically align the images on different layers and then selectively delete the out of focus stuff.

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Thanks Guys; I have not tried Zerene but might try it out although not sure what it would offer beyond PS. Mind you, it's free for  a month!

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Many macro photographers stack, which could end up in over 50 exposures for 1 image.

As a landscaper i stack too, sometimes a lot when my foreground object is very close to the lens and i can't use my TS-E lens. Using high F numbers results in loosing sharpness, so with F11 and some stacking i get great results.

An alternative for Zerene is HeliconFocus.

 

Good luck!

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I just submitted some macro images for the first time and they were rejected because they were out of focus--so I was going to try using focus stack. Floydian--you mentioned that a high F-stop can result in losing sharpness--I was taking my photos in a studio tent using a zoom lens at the highest F-stop to get the highest DOF.....just wondering why a higher F stop would result in less focus...thanks.

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I just submitted some macro images for the first time and they were rejected because they were out of focus--so I was going to try using focus stack. Floydian--you mentioned that a high F-stop can result in losing sharpness--I was taking my photos in a studio tent using a zoom lens at the highest F-stop to get the highest DOF.....just wondering why a higher F stop would result in less focus...thanks.

Google - Lens Diffraction

Edited by Paul Thompson

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I just submitted some macro images for the first time and they were rejected because they were out of focus--so I was going to try using focus stack. Floydian--you mentioned that a high F-stop can result in losing sharpness--I was taking my photos in a studio tent using a zoom lens at the highest F-stop to get the highest DOF.....just wondering why a higher F stop would result in less focus...thanks.

Google - Lens Diffraction

 

 

And many lenses lose sharpness significantly at smaller apertures than f11

Edited by MDM

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So, I have been experimenting with image stacking in photoshop and it has been a tad hit-and-miss. I know that this is used to great effect by macro photographers and I did have a bit of success with this but I hoped to use it more for landscapes and my theory was that it might help get some really sharp details in the foreground in particular. It seems however to be a difficult one to master - the slightest change in sun or shadow and the whole thing gets a bit rubbish. I did find that results imroved by keeping down the number of images to about 3-5 (I started with about 15 per shot and it got really poor).

 

Any top tips for using this technique for lanscapes or is it just not meant for that?

 

Bob

I think that your problem is more appropriate exposure bracketing if your camera allows. And do not clamp the diaphragm above f11.
Best results are obtained in Manual mode with exposure compensation.

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So, I have been experimenting with image stacking in photoshop and it has been a tad hit-and-miss. I know that this is used to great effect by macro photographers and I did have a bit of success with this but I hoped to use it more for landscapes and my theory was that it might help get some really sharp details in the foreground in particular. It seems however to be a difficult one to master - the slightest change in sun or shadow and the whole thing gets a bit rubbish. I did find that results imroved by keeping down the number of images to about 3-5 (I started with about 15 per shot and it got really poor).

 

Any top tips for using this technique for lanscapes or is it just not meant for that?

 

Bob

 

 

This is a good video which explains all 

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I just submitted some macro images for the first time and they were rejected because they were out of focus--so I was going to try using focus stack. Floydian--you mentioned that a high F-stop can result in losing sharpness--I was taking my photos in a studio tent using a zoom lens at the highest F-stop to get the highest DOF.....just wondering why a higher F stop would result in less focus...thanks.

 

 

 

As Geoff says, if they were out of focus, image stacking isn't the answer; and I don't think diffraction is likely to be the culprit, either.

 

The image below is image stacked, with a macro lens and using 4 or 5 exposures if I recall correctly.  

 

close-up-of-tutankhamun-death-mask-toy-t

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Although the lens will have a major influence on the sharpness of the image and macro lenses perform better close-up and often at small apertures, diffraction is determined not by the lens itself but several other factors including the aperture - really interesting article here http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/diffraction-photography.htm

Edited by MDM

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Think of image stacking as a way to play with depth of field, but not necessarily a way to get everything in focus.

 
For instance when shooting flowers, I will sometimes image stack but use F5.6 on each exposure. The correct F opening might be F5.6 in order to keep the background soft and not competing with the blossom, but f 11 to get depth of field on the blossom itself. Solution is to image stack at F 5.6 as in this shot.
 
erigeron-annuus-annual-fleabane-daisy-fl
 
In landscapes maybe a foreground tree focussed on and sharp at F11, should be in front of a SLIGHTLY soft landscape. This will give the image a 3D effect. In this image, only one shot at F 11, the background is there and readable, but because it is soft does does not draw our attention from the sharp flower subject.
 
smooth-milkweed-asclepias-sullivantii-be
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