59 Fiercely Focus Stacked Photos

Illustration for article titled 59 Fiercely Focus Stacked Photos

For 100+ years, any given photo had a single prime focal point. But the results of this week's Shooting Challenge combine multiple points of focus to create images never seen before.

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Lead Shot

This is the filament of a well used quartz-halogen automobile headlamp. The area seen here is 1.54 mm wide, about the same area that you would see through a 100X microscope, but through the microscope you could see only a tiny slice in focus at once. Shot at 11.3X using a Canon T1i camera and Olympus 20 mm bellows macro lens at f/2 (effective aperture > f/22), ISO 100, 0.3 sec. 40 frames at 0.013 mm focus step (total subject thickness 0.5 mm), using a screw-feed setup. Assembled by Zerene Stacker, finished in Photoshop.
-Rik Littlefield


Two Takes on a Daisy

Illustration for article titled 59 Fiercely Focus Stacked Photos

Shot with 7D and EF100mm f/2.8 Macro USM (1/200 sec @ F/9, ISO100)
I've always wanted to give a focus stacking shot a try so when I saw this challenge it made the perfect subject for my 365 Project. This one was made using 7 different images.
[Ed note: While the whole shot isn't in focus, note the multitude of water droplets captured with razor sharpness. Nice use of the technique.]
-Jeremi Blurton

Illustration for article titled 59 Fiercely Focus Stacked Photos

For this focus stacked image of a daisy, I took 15 images at varying focal distances with a Nikon D90 and an old full frame Sigma 70-300mm lens, set to 300mm (macro) on a tripod with a remote. Exposure: f5.6, 1/60, ISO 320. Images were then combined in Helicon Focus. Some post processing sharpening and contrasting was done in Photoshop.
-McDonald Mirabile

Perfect Execution

Illustration for article titled 59 Fiercely Focus Stacked Photos

Camera: Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi
Lens: EF-S 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6 IS
Shutter Speed: 1/4 sec
ISO: 100
F-Stop: f/11
Focal Length: 53mm
This shot is of an old micrometers I have. It probably around 50+ years old and works perfectly. This shot consisted of 13 images that I used photoshop to align and stack. For lighting, I used my home made lightbox and 2 desk lights on either side.The background is a piece of UV printed black foamcore.
-Drew Elias

"My Wife Did Help a Little"

Illustration for article titled 59 Fiercely Focus Stacked Photos

Canon 7D
F-stop 4.5
Exposure 1/50 sec
ISO 200
Focal length 56mm
24 exposures
I was concerned too many people might use the same subject, Okay, maybe not. Used Helicon focus, an awesome program. I had difficulty with the lighting, cloudy day and the light varied a lot. I had to compensate by shooting 24 shots as quick as possible. My wife did help a little.
[Ed note: Aside from the humorous full disclosure footnote, the subject's juxtaposition against the ethereal background is a neat effect for sure.]
-David Lantz

Illustration for article titled 59 Fiercely Focus Stacked Photos

Nikon d3000
ISO 400 - 45mm - f/3.6 - 1/10sec
I used a home-made reversing ring in order to mount my kit lens backwards and have an ghetto- macro setup. I had to blend each focus point in manually in Photochop because none of the layers were even close to lined up.
[Ed note: I do love this shot, and I've been looking at it over and over, trying to decide if you'd need to use focus stacking to pull it off. With this exact rig, you unquestionably do. In general, I'm not positive that's the case. Still, great shot.]
-Andre Mere


Illustration for article titled 59 Fiercely Focus Stacked Photos

My boyfriend wouldn't stop talking about this shooting challenge so I decided to humor him and used image stacking on my lunch. This series of images was taken on a Canon 5D with a Nikkor 60 mm macro f 2.8 at ISO 200. To blow out the background I covered my carpet and wall with printer paper and used a Canon EX 580 flash. Some post work was done in photoshop including curves and the clone stamp to get rid of rough edges.
[Ed note: Textures and colors for the sake of textures and colors—I actually offloaded the final verdict on this shot to many of the Giz writers, and it's almost universally loved. Also, it's a shot I'd challenge skeptics of the technique to recreate without focus stacking.]
-Jennifer Kehl

More than ever, participants said two things of this week's challenge: One, it was difficult. And two, it was their first time attempting the technique. I love that, in spite of both these points, so many of you not only entered, but were able to prove that focus stacking has greater purpose than mere gimmick. Awesome job, everyone.


Focus Stacking Gallery

Larger, wallpaper versions of each shot here.

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I am just going to say it. I absolutely loved this contest (as a viewer, not a doer). When you look at the pictures in all their high definition glory, its hard to not realize that there is something wrong with the focus. I keep going back and forth on the micrometer picture, just looking it up and down, expecting that there will be a focus shift.

Anyway, great pics by all!