Stacking & Tele-Compression

There are a couple of things about telephoto lenses that make them unique. First, and most obvious, is the ability to bring distant objects closer than working with a “normal” lens. Second, and the subject of this month’s Picture This! assignment, is a visual effect known as “stacking,” making subjects that sit at a distance from one another appear closer together, sometimes in an almost surreal way. We asked readers this month to send us examples of this effect, and responses ranged from nature to crowds to perhaps the most popular topic, architecture in urban centers. As you can see, there’s more to working with long teles than at first meets the eye.

Surf Festival

F. E. Goroszko worked with a Tamron 28-200mm lens on his Nikon D300 to showcase the crowded conditions at this volleyball tournament on the beach, and the image is startling in both the range of faces and body postures as well as showing the attempted block at the height of play.
© F. E. Goroszko

USS Alabama

Taken from the bow of the USS Alabama memorial in Mobile, Alabama, Victor Krasenics created this HDR shot from two exposures with a Nikon D200 and a Nikkor 24-120mm lens.
© Victor Krasenics

Slums Of Rio de Janeiro

Shot with a Canon EOS 50D and a 100-400mm lens, Martin Shuwall’s photo compresses the space even more in the already crowded conditions of this area of Rio.
© Martin Shuwall

Parisian Rooftops

Paris seems to inspire this technique, with one of our favorite shots being this rooftop view by Diane Schroeder. The photo was made with a Nikon D700 with a Nikkor 28-300mm lens set at 300mm. Exposure at ISO 800 was f/11 at 1/500 sec.
© Diane Schroeder

Coit Tower

San Francisco is a natural for this technique with its rolling hills and high-density buildings. Tim Landis did some HDR work with Photomatix Pro on this shot made with a Nikon D3X and a Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 lens.
© Tim Landis

King Penguin Colony

Talk about close neighbors—this photo of a king penguin colony was made by Irwin H. Segel with a Nikon D300 and a Nikkor 70-300mm VR lens at 300mm. Exposure was f/8 at 1/320 sec at ISO 400.
© Irwin H. Segel

Rooftop Designs

Made near his home in Pojoaque, New Mexico, Harvey Morgan II included the rooftops of “…a small shed, a two-car garage, a larger shed, and a small casita…” with a Canon EOS 30D and a Sigma 170-500mm lens. Exposure was f/16 at 1/100 sec at ISO 400.
© Harvey Morgan II

Vertical Steps

Stacking here made these steps look like a vertical wall. Thomas Miller made this photo at the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri, with a Canon EOS Elan 7 and a Canon 70-300mm lens.
© Thomas Miller

Macro Stacking

Sharp Todd made this image with a technique known as “focus stacking,” where he made sequential shots using 15 different focusing distances and then combined them with Helicon Focus software. Images were made in available light with a Nikon D300 and a Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 AF Macro lens.
© Sharp Todd

Kodiak Harbor

Michael J. Cohen’s photo taken with a Canon EOS-1D Mark IV and a Canon 70-200mm lens made this look like one crowded marina. Exposure at ISO 800 was f/8 at 1/200 sec.
© Michael J. Cohen

Fishing In Istanbul

Looking down the line of fishermen with a 300mm tele lens, Kenneth F. Trocki shows the proliferation of the poles of the anglers on the Peace Bridge in Istanbul with a massive billboard as background. Exposure with a Nikon D7000 was f/25 at 1/125 sec.
© Kenneth F. Trocki

Picture This! – Our Next Assignment
In The Forest

With hiking season well upon us there are plenty of opportunities to photograph the wonders, light, and moods of the woods. We’re looking for images that make you feel like you’re standing next to a rushing stream or looking through the morning fog as the sun cuts through the haze.

This photo was made in Acadia National Park, Maine, with a Canon EOS 5D. Exposure was f/22 at 1/6 sec at ISO 400.
© George Schaub

Please Read This
It is important that you read and follow these guidelines. We need to follow this procedure because of the large volume of images we receive. If you have any questions, please e-mail us at:

1) Images sent to us cannot be returned. You retain complete copyright over the images, but do grant us permission to print your image(s) in the magazine and on our website,

2) Because images are not returned please send a quality print or duplicate transparency. We will not accept or view images on CD, ZIP, or any other electronic media.

3) Images will be selected on the basis of content and technical quality. Please mark your outer envelope with the topic of the month (for example, “Wide View”).

4) Enclose a short caption with the image stating camera, lens, film and exposure, plus location. If you are submitting an image with a recognizable person we must have a model release or signed permission from that person to reproduce their image in the magazine and on the website.

5) Please submit no more than three photos for consideration (4x6 up to 81/2x11).

Send your image and information to:
Picture This! Shutterbug Magazine,
1415 Chaffee Dr., Suite #10, Titusville, FL 32780.
Deadline for submission: October 15, 2012.
Images will appear in our January 2013 issue.
Our next topic: Water Reflections
Deadline: November 15, 2012
Publication Date: February, 2013

Please note: We receive hundreds of submissions for Picture This! each month and want to be sure we properly identify each image we publish. Please put your name and all camera, exposure information on the back of the print or attached to slides when submitting. Also, please include your e-mail address in case we need to contact you.

Want to see images selected for past Picture This! assignments? Go to and click on Picture This! in the “More Articles…” box on the homepage.

Please note: If you submit images with an enhancement through software beyond contrast, exposure, and simple saturation adjustments please indicate the software and “filter” used to attain that effect.—Editor

phil ok's picture

So as I understand it , this month submissions are Mail In only , and next month is on line only. If so I lose.
There seems to be no gallery with the heading of "Stacking". Very frustrating. Maybe nest month after I get my doctorate in reading websites. ugh.