While editing some older images, I found a couple of images captured from the kayak, of a small frog “hiding” in a lily pad. Reviewing the image data, I realized these images were made by hand-holding the camera/macro lens combo. I used a very small aperture to throw the background out-of-focus. This also caused a very shallow depth of field. One of the photos rendered the frog’s eyes in sharp focus:
The other photo caused the eyes to be a bit out-of-focus, but the frog’s nose was crisp:
Normally, this is a good scenario for employing focus-stacking, a technique where multiple images (each shot at a different plane of sharp focus) are combined, creating an image with a greater depth of field for a portion of the image … but still retaining an out-of-focus background. The problem here, though, is that I was hand-holding while creating both images. Thus, the two images were not “overlaid”. How would focus-stacking work with these images? I decided to export both images to my focus-stacking software, “Helicon Focus”, and give it a go. Here is the result I got:
I like this image much better than either of the two previous images. There is still a small depth of field, but both the nose and eyes are in sharp focus. From lessons like this, I always try not to trash any image that is “close, but not what I wanted”. In some cases, you can employ a special technique to obtain the desired result.
Photographic Equipment Used:
- Canon 1D Mark 2 body
- Canon EF 180mm, f/3.5 macro lens
- Handheld from a kayak
- ISO 400
- Aperture f/3.5
- Shutter 1/640 sec.