Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
Let's give focused stacking a try here. Essentially the scenario that I'm trying to capture is, I have a close-up shot of this tree. I'm shooting at a pretty wide-open shot here, I'm at 50 millimeters, and I want the tree in focus, but then as we get further out, we've got this sort of spread of ivy here, and I want to get that in focus, too. Well, the challenge here is it's hard to get that with a single shot, so what I need to do is actually take multiple exposures, moving the focus point around, and I can stack those together in an app like Photoshop and sort of pull it together.
Now, you can do this manually or take advantage of some automated features. Let's start with a manual take. So what I'm going to do here is I'm going to tap on the screen to set my focus point. And I basically tapped right on the ivy on the side of the tree here to set it. Now one of the things I like to do, make it a little bit easier to know where the starting point is, is make a visual slate. So I'll just put my hand in front of the camera here. Take a fresh capture. And now I know that that's a new series. So let's go ahead and capture.
I'll now move the focus point a little further along the edge of the tree. And capture another shot. And then move here. You see the tree has gone out of focus, and I'll make the capture. Now you might be wondering why I'm shooting at f/10 instead of f/22. Well, I really wanted to get enough light when I was on the tree itself, but let's do a series where we do take that aperture down smaller. Remember, one of the benefits of tethering is the ability to change the settings right here. So I'll go to f/22 and reset that there on the tree.
I am shooting in aperture priority mode, which makes it a bit easier for the camera to adjust the other settings. So really the only I'm dictating here is the depth of field. Let's the ISO down just a bit. Alright, now let's mark that new series. Check the depth of field, and start. Move it a little further along the tree. Out to the ivy. Lower corner here. Upper corner. And I'll do the top corner. And the lower corner should be the same here, since the tree's pretty much at the same depth.
Now, that worked pretty well. I captured the whole range of focus, from the front of the tree further out into the ivy. But what I want to do now is actually invoke a bit of automation, and let it capture it that way as well. So let's just go ahead, mark a new series. I'll set the focus there. And you'll note I actually have fine focus controls here if I need 'em. Dial in the number of shots for focus. Let's do ten, that should be plenty. And I'll tell it to do a small step. At this point, set the initial focus, and let's actually take that up to 20 since we're doing small steps.
And I'll hit start. Now, at this point, the CamRanger is being controlled by my iPad. It's passed those instructions to the device, and it's manually adjusting the focus point using a small increment of change, and 20 base exposures. So it's essentially stepping through the focus, and it's going to get that entire range here of my scene. Now, typically, I find that shooting manually works pretty well. And I just tap to set my focus. But using this sort of small increment is a great way when shooting macro type shots if you just want to have some variety.
Think of it as almost exposing or taking focus bracketing as opposed to exposure bracketing. This way basically I'm running through all my different focuses, using a small increment and having it run the options. That's going to make it that much when I got to post, to be able to look through and dial in just the one I want for the depth field. When this finishes I'll do one more focus bracket, but I'm going to drop that f stop down really shallow so we just get lots of options. Alright, we'll cancel that. Let's go to a really shallow depth of field.
I'm going to take that to F4. Reset my focus, and we'll go ahead and run focus stacking, but in this case not because we want to blend them together necessarily. But because I just want to capture several different focus points, so I'm thinking of it as safety or bracketing so I have that whole tree edge in focus. Let's invoke that and it starts to run. Alright, you see here you can tether with the laptop, you can tether with the tablet or with your phone. It's really nice to have that level control.
And in this situation, because I'm shooting something that's really tight, it's also great that I can get my hands off the camera, and reduce any vibration, or any potential error that I might introduce to the shot.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
180 Video lessons · 70267 Viewers
64 Video lessons · 92054 Viewers
86 Video lessons · 60305 Viewers
103 Video lessons · 28961 Viewers
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.