One of the challenges with landscape photography occurs when you come upon a scene that calls for perfect sharpness all the way from an interesting foreground to an important subject in the background. Sound impossible? Read on.
In the tutorial below, you’ll learn a simple approach to focus stacking that will deliver maximum sharpness throughout an entire scene. Photographer Alex Armitage walks you through the entire process from start to finish.
This behind-the scenes episode begins with Armitage photographing Iowa’s Factory Butte—an isolated, flat-topped peak surrounded by desert. With a rock formation in the foreground, and the peak in the distance, this scene definitely calls for optimum focus throughout the frame.
In the first part of the video Armitage explains the concept of focus staking, and demonstrate several shooting techniques in the field. One common question regarding this technique is “How many photos do I need to shoot?” As you see, that depends upon the specific scene in question, and Armitage uses a number of examples to help you make the best choice.
The shooting portion also provides helpful tips on composition, camera settings, and exposure techniques. In the description beneath the video he provides links to three more focus-stacking tutorials—each with a slightly different approach. There’s also a link to a full list of the gear he uses.
In the second portion of the tutorial Armitage demonstrates how the prepare your images for stacking, and runs through a post processing method in Photoshop and Lightroom that delivers great results. He also explains a few pitfalls to avoid.
After watching the video, head over to Armitage’s YouTube channel where you’ll find more helpful shooting and editing tips. And don’t miss another tutorial we posted recently, illustrating several common mistakes that can ruin landscape photos.