“Stacking” the Rocks at Sea Ranch

It should be obvious by now that in addition to being a wave junkie, I’m also a rock hound.  But I thought I’d try something a little different in this post.  No I didn’t “stack” these rocks at the beach; they were there long, long before I got there.  “Stacking” refers to a photographic technique of merging multiple images of the same scene where each image is taken at a different focal point.  This is similar to HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography where you merge multiple images of the same scene and each image is bracketed to capture a full range of exposures. 

The idea in using image stacking is to extend the depth of field so that all or at least most of the image is in focus.  This works well in landscapes, as seen in the first four images.  Stacking also works with close-ups as well, as seen in the last two images.  Each of the images in this post is merged from two to six images. 

This technique takes full advantage of a wide angle lens giving you a final image where most of the image is sharp from foreground to background.  This is really my first experimentation with stacking, and I hope to use it more on broader landscapes and even on macro shots like wildflowers. 

If you would like to know more about image stacking, email me and I can walk you through the process.  You can also check out this website: http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/focus-stacking.htm  for instructions on how to use focus stacking.

I had great fun playing with this technique, and the sandstone formations along our coast here are a great subject to photograph.  It’s also a great way to spend an afternoon just crawling around the rocks. 

Equipment:  Nikon D3s, Nikkor 24-70 mm lens, Tripod, Photoshop CS5 for image processing

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