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Assignment #8 – Focus Stacking

Your assignment this week is a technique—focus stacking—rather than a theme. The subject matter is up to you!

What is focus stacking? It’s a technique to achieve greater depth of field in your image by combining images taken at different focus distances into a single image. It’s one of those things that requires practice, but it can easily be practiced around your home. There’s nothing like becoming proficient with your tools before you go on your adventure!

Go to the pantry and collect some cans of soup, maybe a bag of flour if you’ve been able to find some, and line them up on the ground with a distant wall as your backdrop.

Place your camera on a tripod only a few feet away from the closest item, and then follow these steps:

  1. Compose and level.

  2. Focus on the closest point – use live view.

  3. Use aperture ƒ/8.

  4. Check the histogram to confirm shutter speed, aperture, and ISO.

  5. Double-check the closest focus point and click the shutter. (Nikon shooters can use “focus shift shooting.”)

  6. Now move the focus ring a tiny smidge towards infinity and click a second image.

  7. Now move the focus ring again and click the third image.

  8. You may need to do this up to 5 or 6 times before your background or wall is in focus.

Now that you’ve captured all of your files, it’s time to process and merge them. Please refer to this tutorial on our Muench Workshops Resources page for a step-by-step tutorial on Focus Stacking.

Our team of Pros will be waiting to see your images over at Muench University on Facebook to offer helpful feedback and commentary.

More like this…

Assignment #1 – Birds in Your Community

Every community has birds, and it’s not tough to find them. While your local birds may not be the most exotic, they still represent a great opportunity for practicing your photography.

Assignment #6 – Motion

When you capture motion in an image you capture so much more. You capture energy and emotion. You can make your subject stand out against the background, or convey a sense of time passing.