In the High Dynamic Range post, I explained how it is possible to take a series of pictures, each taken of the same shot but at different exposures, and combine them into one image using software so that the full dynamic range of the scene is evident.
EDoF is a similar concept, where you take a series of photos of the same shot with varying points of focus and combine them, again using software, into one image where (at least) a majority of the image is all in focus. Adobe and Helicon call this focus stacking. It is of particular interest to those who are interested in macro photography, because at times, the depth of field is only as deep as the diameter of a hair. The one difficulty of the process is that the scene has to be totally static, with nothing moving even a tiny amount.
The shot above (none of the photos in this set will win any awards, but that was not the idea, anyway) is made up of nine different photos. All (and all the photos in this post, actually) were taken using a tripod, manual focus and aperture priority so that the f/stop, and thus the depth of field around the focus point, remained the same on each shot. Below are three photos out of the set that produced the photo above, one with the focus early, one where the focus is in the middle and one where the focus is at the end.
These shots were stacked in Adobe Elements using the independent (and highly recommended) Elements+ add on. Earlier, I mentioned Helicon; that is a company that also makes several software packages specifically related to EDof and which are generally considered to be the industry standard in the field.
In the next two series of shots, the focus-to-the-front picture is shown first, a focus-to-the-middle shot is shown second, the focus-to-the-rear shot shown third and finally the stacked (all focused) picture shown last. Both series were comprised of about 20 shots each. All I can say is, “It’s a neat trick, when you can get away with it!”
And before anyone says anything, yes, I am aware of the irony of a post on EDoF in a blog named the Book of Bokeh. Such is life.
Before viewing the rest of the photographs, I would also like to invite you to visit the poetry blog, the Book of Pain. Thank you for dropping by the Book of Bokeh.
PS: Thanks to Andrew Nixon of the excellent and recommended Andrew Nixon’s Photo Blog for first bringing focus stacking to my attention. I just love learning new things!
All photographs and comments ©2014 by John Etheridge with all rights reserved; not to be used without the expressed written permission of the copyright owner.