Nature Notes

August 26, 2009

Purple Coneflower: Image Stacking

Filed under: Flowers,Photography Tips,Processing Tips — Tags: , , — Harold Stiver @ 7:00 am
Purple Coneflower, Echinacea purpurea

Purple Coneflower, Echinacea purpurea

1st of 4

1st of 4

4th of 4

4th of 4

I have been photographing wildflowers this year and my favorite lens for this is the Canon 180mm. It is extremely sharp and a great macro lens but it has a very shallow depth of field, so much so that it is usually not possible to get the close and far sides both in focus. An interesting solution to this is image stacking. This involves taking a series of shots with the focus changing from the front to the back and having at least one shot of each area in focus in one of the images.

The next step is to combine the images into a single image and this can be done in a number of specialist software programs. Among them are CombineZP (free program), Zerene Stacker ( free for now) and Helicon Focus ($30 but there is a 30 day free trail available). The image at the top is a stack of 4 images processed in Helicon Focus.

At this point I still have a lot to learn about this technique but it looks like a useful tool. Later this year I am planning on doing some extreme macros of insects and will probably need to use about 20+ images.

Here are a couple more results, both from stacks of 4 images.

PurpleConeflower3 PurpleConeflower

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  1. […] long ago I wrote a post on Image Stacking and some of the software that can be used with it. It is often used with things like macro shots of […]

    Pingback by Rugosa Rose: 9 Image Stack | Nature Notes — September 7, 2009 @ 7:04 am

  2. i own several Canon L Lenses and they have the best quality. even better than Nikon..–

    Comment by Nathan Rodriguez — May 10, 2010 @ 5:31 am

  3. Awesome Blog! Loving it! Please keep the posts coming!

    Comment by Charles — July 22, 2011 @ 11:00 pm

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