Getting the right focus!

Photographers: Have you tried Focus Stacking?

Here’s a few images I took just quickly – hand held. I focused on the back, middle and front of the plant; then merged the sharp bits together.
Here is a screen recording of the layers as I did them in GIMP using a technique called ‘layer masking’.


There are different scenarios in which you need to use depth of field to get an image or video to look good.


Be aware that changing your focus point may result in “focus breathing”, which is where the “zoom” of the lens alters subtly. Top end lenses have virtually all addressed this problem with brilliant design now, but many commodity and older lenses suffer from focus breathing. Using a tripod is recommended for still images!


Video introduces more challenges for depth of field and sharpness. What you shoot, you get. Choosing your aperture intentionally helps with video; as does having focal stops so you can ensure your subject can not only be sharp to start with, but also when they move closer or further away. Having pre-planned your focus stops means you can manually pull focus on a video camera with absolute confidence – you know it’s going to work!


Great imagery doesn’t just happen. It’s planned.
Great photos demand a photographer understands light and the science of photography. The art of a photographer takes composition, sense of emotion, intent of movement; colour contrast and more to create something truly distinctive.
Great video also demands an understanding of light and the science of photography. Being able to plan a scene involves planning subject movement; video angles; sound design and the practicalities of ensuring you don’t go “off stage” with your angles, that you don’t get spurious people or objects in them and that you don’t trip over cables. Planning a scene means getting those focus stops just right so you can concentrate on movement tracking and zoom.


You may not have heard of Ballarat Business Media before. My services cover marketing strategy & campaigns; photography; videography and post-production; drone photography and 5K drone video; audio capture and editing; websites; promotional videos and more. My website is You can call me, Steve Barnes, on 0423 311 839

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