Dahlia Close Up

No, this is not a bowl of Macaroni and Cheese! This is Dahlia, up close and personal.

Some Tacoma Photographic Society got up way too early on Saturday morning to go shoot flowers at Point Defiance Park. I’m glad I was one of them.

About the shot

I set my 100mm Macro Lens a few inches from the flower, set the aperture to f/4.0 and shot 10 frames at the same exposure each with a slightly different focus.

This is a well-known technique called focus stacking. We need to do this because of the very narrow depth of field when shooting closeup macro photography like this.

Focus Stack Example
One slice of several showing the issue of depth of field when shooting close up macro photography

You can see how only some of the foreground petals are sharp. The center of the blossom is a fuzzy mess.

To clean it up, I took 10 exposures. I tossed out the first and the last because they were not necessary then:

  1. in Lightroom, select all 8 images
  2. export to Photoshop as layers
  3. in Photoshop, select all 8 layers
  4. under the Edit Menu, select Align Layers
  5. again, under the Edit Menu, select Blend Layers
  6. save the file
  7. do your regular post-processing in Photoshop or Lightroom

As I said, a well known and easy technique.


Here are the two images as a gallery so you can see them full screen without the text overlay.