Want Tack-Sharp Photographs? Watch This Tutorial with Focus Stacking Made Easy (VIDEO)

One of the challenges with landscape photography is maximizing depth of field. That’s because well-composed images often incorporate important elements in the foreground, midground and background. Shooting with small aperture settings helps, but that approach often causes image quality to suffer, and may not yield the wide range of sharpness you desire.

That’s where the technique known as “focus stacking” comes into play. This approach enables you to maintain focus throughout an entire scene, while using an f/stop that represents the “sweet spot” of a lens, and it yields extremely dramatic results.

Andrew Marr is a professional photographer known for his amazing landscape, travel, and adventure imagery, and in this easy-to-follow tutorial, he demonstrates everything you need to know to focus stack to your heart’s content.

Focus stacking involves both a shooting and post-processing method, in which you capture a number of images of the same scene, each with a different point of focus from foreground to background. Then using Photoshop, or another image-editing program, the images are merged, selecting the sharpest portions of each shot to arrive at the final image.

Some cameras, like the new Nikon D850 DSLR, include a focus stacking feature, whereby the camera automatically shoots a series of images at varying focus points. All you have to do is tell the camera how many shots you want in the sequence (you still have to merge them in post). But taking the photos yourself, and merging them in Photoshop, is easy to do if you watch this step-by-step tutorial.

Depending upon the scene, this technique isn’t always necessary, but when total depth of field is desired, focus stacking can’t be beat. You can find more helpful tips on Marr’s YouTube channel, and in an earlier piece we posted, explaining how to shoot great seascapes photographs.

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