Focus Stacking for Landscape Photography Part II

In Part 2 of “Focus Stacking for Landscape Photography” I have included a short (13 minute) video outlining just one of several ways to blend your focus stack using Photoshops built in Auto-Align and Auto-Blending functions on the image below!! I have also provided lower resolution Tiff files for practice! Enjoy and I hope it helps expand your bag of tools! 

The Tutorial!

       So Part 1 left you at step 5. Blending….A bit of a cliff hanger right?  Well here is the follow up along with a short video tutorial and practice files! Finally!

If you are interested in practicing you can download your practice files here! Here are the steps taken:

1: Highlight all of your files, right click and Open your files in Photoshop as layers once you’ve done your basic raw adjustments

2: Select all of your layers once they have opened in Photoshop, by holding shift and selecting them all

3: Go to Edit>Auto-Align and select “Auto”

4: Once this process has finished and with your layers still selected, put them in a group (Command/Control+G) and then duplicate that group(Command/Control+J).

5: Expand the top group and select all of the layers within. Go to Edit>Auto-Blend and choose Stack. You can also choose to select “seamless tones and colors” and “content aware fill” if you wish. 

Still With Me? Great!

6: Once the Auto-Blend function has finished and if there is no touch up work to be done then you are finished with the focus stacking. If there is touch up, continue to step 7.

7: Expand the bottom group of only aligned layers and turn off all of the layers above it. Then starting at the top of the group turn off one layer at a time until the part of the image you want to recover or fix is in focus. 

8: Move that layer to the very top of the layer stack and apply a black mask (Alt/Option while clicking on the mask icon)

9: Using a white brush and fairly hard edge gently brush back in the areas that need it being careful not to flow over into the areas around what you are trying to fix.

10: Repeat Step 9 until all mistakes are fixed. Then select the top of your layer stack and use the keyboard shortcut:

Command/Control+Alt/Option+Shift+E.

This creates a “Stamp Visible Layer” that is essentially a snapshot of all of the layers below on one single layer. You can choose to delete the underlying layers if you want. If you do, you could have alternatively used the keyboard shortcut: Command/Control+E, which simply flattens your layers. Personally I prefer to keep my layers just in case.

Here are a few more examples of extreme focus stacks of very near far compositions. Enjoy and thank you for reading!

Do you want to take your photography and post production knowledge to new heights?

Join me on any of my available workshops for an immersive and fun experience! Were branching out and exploring other countries!

Take a look at 2020’s currently planned workshops 

Interview With Iceland Photo Tours By Serena Dzenis - December 2019
Photographer of the Month: Joshua Snow Interview with American photographer Joshua Snow By Christian Hoiberg
Matt Payne Photography Blog: Interview With Joshua Snow On F-Stop Collaborate And Listen - April 14, 2017
Interview with Landscape Photographer Joshua Snow By Loaded Landscapes - Mar 30, 2018
Landscape Photographer Reveals Secret to Success with Joshua Snow By FStoppers
Interview With Joshua Snow by Photography Talk
Podcast interview With Joshua Snow By The Photog Adventures - September, 2017
"Beyond the typical Photo" with Joshua Snow - Interview by David Johnston and the Landscape Photography Show

ABOUT JOSHUA SNOW

My Name is Joshua Snow, I am a Fine Art landscape and Night Photographer born in the Appalachian Mountains but raised in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate NY. In 2012 I had reached... Read more

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