How to Create Sharper Photos Using Focus Stacking

Landscape photographers commonly prefer to get as much of the frame in focus as possible for maximum sharpness. Focus stacking is a common and useful technique for accomplishing this, and this excellent video will show you how to do it using Photoshop. 

Coming to you from Adam Gibbs, this helpful video will show you how to use focus stacking for sharper images using Photoshop. Focus stacking is one of the most popular techniques for increasing sharpness across an image. It is a relatively straightforward concept: you take multiple images with the same framing at varying focal distances, then blend them in post so each area has the most sharpness possible. You might think of simply using a very narrow aperture, but you will start running into issues with diffraction as you get to smaller settings. Meanwhile, using the hyperfocal distance can be a good compromise in the name of efficiency, but for maximum sharpness, focus stacking is the best method of the three, and it isn't particularly difficult. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Gibbs. 

And if you really want to dive into landscape photography, check out "Photographing The World 1: Landscape Photography and Post-Processing with Elia Locardi." 

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3 Comments

Timothy Gasper's picture

"How To Create Sharper Photos Using Focus Stacking" My, my, my. How 'professional'. Having to use computers to manipulate photos to become sharp. Speaks volumes to 'expertice'. Hmmm, I wonder how this was achieved with film. Oh, sorry, I already know.

Alex Cooke's picture

Err, focus stacking solves a problem imposed by physics, not lack of technique. I assume you’re referencing camera movements, specifically tilting the focus plane, in referencing film. Unfortunately, very few digital cameras have built-in movements and not everyone owns a tilt-shirt lens.

Timothy Gasper's picture

I see I don't understand something here. If focus stacking improves sharpness of photos....how does 'focus stacking solve a problem imposed by physics' fit in? If the purpose is to create a "sharp" image, what part does physics play in achieving that? I have always used the 3 principles of exposure for that. PS...I don't own a tilt-shirt. My shirt tilts when I bend in any direction.