Tag Archives: Depth of Field
One of the greatest challenges in macro photography is dealing with depth of field issues. In my line of work I often have to provide technical photographs of circuitry. I typically use a top of the line macro lens like the Nikon AF-S Micro-NIKKOR 105mm, for these photographs. Even though this lens produces amazing images, I am forever striking a balance between elaborate lighting setups and limited depth of field (DOF). Presuming I even produce enough light to shoot at the maximum DOF of f32 for this lens, I still find at these extreme close-ups depth of field can be an issue.
Thankfully post processing techniques provide us with a tool that makes all of this a bit easier. Focus stacking is not that different than HDR. In essence we are taking several images with one variable adjusted (in this case focus) to create one image. The result is an image that gives a resultant image with greater depth of field than the source image.
This technique can be used in all sorts of macro photography, from nature photographs to microscopy. Thankfully the technique is made painfully simple with modern imaging tools. There are a number of tools that can achieve these results (CombineZM, Helicon Focus, Magnification, etc.) however we are going to use Photoshop CS5 for this tutorial.
Throughout my photographic career I have oft heard of the fabled camera obsura, the great-grandfather of the modern camera. In fact I have made one or two of the devices on my own to demonstrate how it functions for some of my students. The camera obscura is, for those not aware, an optical device developed thousands of years ago. At the time, it was discovered that if one takes a darkened room and punches a small hole on one side, the outside world will be projected on the opposite wall upside down. Almost anyone who has studied photographic history will likely have heard that artists of the renaissance used the camera obscura to paint a scene as realistically as possible. Continue reading