Good evening all. I spent evening today refreshing my post processing Photoshop skills, which I lost for not using PS in the past year. I was 100% of the time in LR3.6 and then LR4.3
I needed to refresh my knowledge for panorama, focus and HDR stacking for upcoming project. I probably chose not the best object or rather point of view, but whatever is done – is done. I used computer software for automating focus changing while taking pictures. 22 images covered DOF about 2 inches.
Then I used two different techniques to load imaged into PS 5.1 for focus stacking. Sample #1 is pure NEF and sharpening is done on one of the last steps after all layers are merged and before converting to a JPEG. Sample #2 is done via loading all NEF files into Adobe Camera RAW and sharpening/adjusting those before exporting to PS for focus stacking.
I was expected to see better results in case #2, but I do not see it. I’m trying to figure out what possible I did wrong. To starter the number of files might be too much.. what else?
#1. "RE: Focus Stacking question" In response to Reply # 0
Hi Vlad, Both images look fine to me though the top one does appear to be sharper. Not sure about the PS stacking module but I know CombineZP does several sharpening/high pass procedures during the stacking process so this may account for the differences in sharpness. The sharpness or detail of the original files can also effect the alignment in CombineZP, though generally the sharper files (eg. basic jpeg vs NEF) tend to align better and therefore produce a better end result, but again I'm not sure if this is the case with PS stacking.
#2. "RE: Focus Stacking question" In response to Reply # 0
Kings Lynn, UK
Picture 1 looks great openned up to large size. The apparent softness appears to me to be the inherent low contrast of the petal tone and texture. The pollen tells a story of sharpness. No. 2 is softer.
I use PS for simple stacking, which is all I do. I convert to dng in ACR as the images are downloaded. I do post processing on the dng files. Sharpening is kept below any visible artifact viewed at 300%. The dng files are stacked in PS. I learnt early on to 'flatten the image' after stacking before cropping and any final sharpening which again is minimal.
The attached is a simple 3 shot, hand held, stack taken three days ago. D800E, Zeiss f2 100 mm @ f8, 1/1000 sec. More shots from a tripod would have been better, but this sufficed to send a friend a spring message with bees. It looks much softer reduced for posting, but I hope it shows the lack of stacking artifacts I got in my early use of PS!