June 26, 2021

Continued Explorations of EOS R5 Focus Stacking

An unexpected bonus built into the Canon EOS R5 is automated focus stacking (called Focus Bracketing in the Canon menu). A technique I have used in various applications for over a decade, to have this quite functional application of the technique so easily accessible is very much a game changer for macro and some other photography.

Digital original, 40 image focus blend
During this field trip to the public gardens, as I was helping, I was also casually photographing, making images of some of the flowers around us. The focus bracketing can be adjusted to change how large a focusing step happens between each frame, and how many frames in total are being made - and most conveniently, the images are displayed as the camera takes them, so it is very easy to tell when a particular group of images is falls short of (or goes past) the far goal of the image.
Digital original, 40 image focus blend

Early in this day's exploration, it took several experimental image sets (capturing 30, 40 or more images per set) before I began to get a sense of how much of a particular flower would be covered by a set of images. Once I was into the rhythm of the process however, I needed fewer and fewer tests to hit on the optimum number of images, making the whole process smoother and smoother as I worked.

Digital original, 20 image focus blend

There is absolutely one downside to all this focus stacking explorations - the massive file count. Over this couple of hours, I made 696 images, with the final edit being 17 final photos made from 278 files (to make the three images used in this blog entry, 100 source files were used). This has serious ramifications on editing and file storage...but the results are SO pretty!

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