Introduction to Focus Stacking- Way to get Sharp Images

Focus stacking works in three general stages:

Introduction to Focus Stacking- Way to get Sharp Images

Focus stacking is a powerful technique in digital image processing which combines multiple shots taken at different focus distances. It is commonly used in macro photography and optical microscopy, where persist shallow depth of field. To be specific, it is used commonly in landscape photography.

Focus stacking is done through two steps. Firstly, several photos of a subject are taken in the different focal distance. Secondly, multiple shots are compared for the best artistic look in the post-processing phase. As the photos contain some excellent or lousy depth of field, in the second step, all those photos combined in Photoshop. So, the image resulted has the highest depth of field and quality.


Why Is Focus Stacking Needed?

Focus stacking is a photography strategy that combines the utilization of a camera and a post-processing software such as Photoshop. Focus stacking is regularly used in different types of photography to improve focus in the image.

It's also used in portrait and animal photography. However, sometimes photographers use this technique while capturing moving subjects. When a picture taker requires more depth, they generally increase the f-stop setting of their camera focal point.

While this is a natural and vital method to focus, shooting at a higher f-stop has some problems. Such as, it requires more time to take photographs. Also, it decreases picture sharpness.

Besides, one may want more depth of field than a specific focal point. Only the most extreme f-stop can give the best focus result. Hence, in this case, focus stacking is commonly used.


Focus stacking works in three general stages:

1.    Several photographs are taken for the same object gradually increasing the focusing distance.

2.    Then the photos are overlapped so that they are covered pixel by pixel.

3.    After setting up the layers, the composite image is created based on the sharpest regions from each separate photo.


When should one consider Focus Stacking?

Let’s have some scenarios to illustrate more about the importance of focus stacking that results to get the fully-focused images:

•    Photograph a scene which has a great distance between the foreground and background

•    Use an ultra-wide-angle lens with a subject is close to the photography camera

•    Zoom in a view like as a forest and with an open aperture to get sharp images

•    Photograph small scenes and macro photography in general for product photoshoot


Focus stacking is helpful. However, there are some drawbacks also. Here is some list of cons:

•    It takes lots of time to do perfectly

•    The subject needs to be still.

•    You would need expensive cameras and lenses to do this kind of photography

•    You would need to have skills to use software like Photoshop


In the end, it is easy to say Focus stacking is a powerful technique and require a little touch of an expert hand in post-processing. For product photography, you need a sharp and focus the image on attracting the customer. Only best focus stacking service provider can combine the stack photos into an entirely focused image quickly and smartly.

Deowan Shimul
Shimul has a diverse set of skills. He discusses high-level strategies, business proposals and development. Synchronizing a great teamwork, he eats, drinks, lives with Photoshop. Thus, he blogs regularly about Photoshop tips and tricks.

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