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Focus Stacking in Photoshop

Lesson 30 from: Travel Photography: The Complete Guide

Ben Willmore

Focus Stacking in Photoshop

Lesson 30 from: Travel Photography: The Complete Guide

Ben Willmore

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Lesson Info

30. Focus Stacking in Photoshop


Class Trailer



Course Introduction


Camera Gear for Travel


What Camera Gear Should You Buy?


Gear Bags for Travel Photography


Location Research and Pre-Trip Planning


Importing and Naming Conventions in Lightroom


Processing Images with Presets in Lightroom


Lesson Info

Focus Stacking in Photoshop

Somebody asked about focus stacking, so let's talk about that briefly. I'm going to take these two images and I'm going to do the same thing we did to the others, and that was what, Edit in, Open as Layers. That's going to stack them one on top of the other. Remember, usually I'd optimize them first, make sure I get the most out of Lightroom, and let's take a look at what we have. We have a sign in the distance and that's what I focused on, but the broken glass is out of focus. Turn that off and on the layer underneath, I just moved the focus ring on my lens to capture the sharp glass. Then I'm going to take those two images now and first I might need to use auto align, but I'll try it without. I'm assuming I didn't move very much. We'll find out. I'm just going to choose Auto-Blend Layers. When I choose Auto-Blend Layers, there are two settings, panorama and stack. It'll automatically pick the right one. And I'm going to click OK. What it's doing is looking for where it's sharpest and...

only using that part. It's comparing the two layers, saying in this layer, for this little bitty part of the image, is this layer sharper than the one below? If so, use it, and hide the one that was less sharp. It's called focus stacking. You do it when you just can't get everything sharp. Be careful, though, because if there are other objects that were in between these and all I did was get the glass sharp in one shot, the sign sharp in the other, in the thing that was in between, like a car part there, was not sharp in either one, it's going to look weird because you'll have sharp close to you, blurry, and then sharp far away. Sometimes you need three, four, five shots, to get the various things, and sometimes there are a few issues. I can see one issue right here, but it wouldn't be terrible to retouch. Just right there it looks a little odd. And so that could be a little retouch. But that's focus stacking.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Lightroom Presets Quickstart Guide
Lightroom Preset Sampler
Pre-Trip Planning
Actions Sampler Guide
Travel Photography Handbook
Actions Sampler
Lightroom Keywords
Big Set of Lightroom Presets
Practice Images
Travel Photogtaphy Mobile Guide
Gear List
Lightroom Tips and Keyboard Shortcuts

Ratings and Reviews


This was simply an amazing experience! Without a doubt the best investment of time and money I have experienced in quite awhile. Ben's complete command of the subject, the practical tips, suggestions and reference information was outstanding. I have enjoyed point and shoot photography for some time and recently decided to invest in some decent DSLR equipment (Canon EOS D70). I have a trip to Cape Town and Johannesburg South Africa rapidly approaching and thought it might be a good idea to take some classes and make an effort to get up the learning curve ASAP to take advantage of this travel opportunity. "Discovering" Creativelive and Ben Willmore's class was literally an answer to prayer! There is nothing like sitting at the foot of wisdom, taking notes, and having numerous "ah-ha" moments! This was great....looking forward to more classes. Thanks for the high quality effort!

a Creativelive Student

Genius! Ben is a brilliant master teacher - focused, clear and holds back no information. The best! This course has condensed the equivalent of 10 courses into one. He is a perfectionist in his approach and knows how to present the material. He is the leader in photoshop and photography "par excellence". Highly recommend any of his courses. Save your time and start with the best - everyone loves Ben!!!!

Nichole Sams

I feel the title of this class, Travel Photography, is much to limiting for what you are really going to get. As a wedding photographer, who dreams of traveling, I attending the class live in Seattle, and was hoping to get some inspiration for on location shoots. What I got, however, was a WHOLE LOT MORE. I would recommend this class to anyone with a camera and Lightroom. What I learned about how lightroom works and how to integrate it with photoshop is invaluable. I actually think they should charge WAY more for this course. The bonuses with purchase from the keywords (we are talking every key word you could possibly imagine) and the presets (holycow everything you would ever need) are worth exponentially more than the course price itself. Ben is a gentle easy going teacher and nice to listen to. His ease of teaching pretty complex ideas was truly wonderful. If you are reading this you must buy this course, it is well worth it!

Student Work