Focus stacking (also known as focal plane merging and z-stacking or focus blending) is a digital image processing technique which combines multiple images taken at different focus distances to give a resulting
image with a greater depth of field (DOF) than any of the individual source images.
Over the past two years I have been experimenting/using a product called:
Helicon Remote and Helicon Focus. (links below) with good success.
Helicon Focus Stacking Examples on Flickr.com
Now Helicon Remote has a few draw backs...not every single model of camera ever made is supported...Including some newer one's, until recently my Nikon D7100 was not supported and I had to use my D90 for the last project in which I used this software. So please check the list of supported cameras. Now if your camera is not supported by Helicon Remote it is possible if you can tether with LightRoom. You can shoot the shots manually and export to Helicon Focus for the rendering. Camera compatibility:
Canon: 70D, 700D, 6D, 5D Mk III, 1D X, 7D, 5D Mk II, 1D Mk IV, 1D Mk
III, 1Ds Mk III, 60D, 50D, 40D, 650D/Rebel T4i/Kiss X6, 600D/Rebel
T3i/Kiss X5, 1100D/Rebel T3, 1000D/Rebel XS, 550D/Rebel T2i/Kiss X4, 500D/Rebel T1i/Kiss X3, 450D/Rebel XSi/Kiss X2
Nikon: D610, D5300, D600, D7100, D5200, D800/D800e, D4, D3, D3s, D3x, D7000, D5000, D5100, D700, D300/D300s, D90 (D3000, D3100 and D3200 are
There is a way to also do this with Lightroom shooting tethered and exporting to PhotoShop/PhotoShop Elements, which I will cover as well, but most of the time will be using Helicon products.
What will we be shooting:
A friend of mine will be bring a collection of 50 wrist watches, but I also encourage you to bring small items/objects you been wanting to "Macro" Shoot".
We will break into about 5 groups so we can all get a chance to test out the process
You will need the following if you wish to participate in the shooting.
1) Supported camera with lens that can handle auto focus under 1-3 feet (I use a 60mm F/2.8 or 35mm F/2.8)
we will have good lighting so aperture size is not a factor
2) A laptop running Helicon Remote/Focus that you can tether to your camera via USB cable or Laptop with Lightroom tether to your camera via USB cable and PhotoShop/PhotoShop Elements
*Shooting tethered can drain a battery fast so I suggest you bring an extra camera battery