Focus Stacking

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This topic contains 15 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Jay Ward 4 weeks, 1 day ago.

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  • #365749

    Jay Ward
    Participant

    Trying my hand with focus stacking using Arsenal. This is the first attempt. Eight stacked images shot with all natural light coming in from the right side of the image at about 7pm Eastern. Eight images 35mm, F7.1, 13 sec, ISO100. Stacked in PS edited with Luminar.Sanctuary

    • This topic was modified 1 month ago by  Jay Ward.
  • #365756

    Dahlia Ambrose
    Keymaster

    @jdublu Hi Jay, this is nicely done and I like the symmetry and light in the image.

    It would have been better to see more of the top part and also, slightly brighten up the top left and right 🙂

    • #365913

      Jay Ward
      Participant

      Thanks Dahlia, I agree. The top is more than two stops lightened just to get what I have now. The natural light limitation really cast the organ pipes and cross into deep shadow.

  • #365772

    Seems pretty effective.

    Focus stacking with Photoshop grinds my computer to a halt.

    • #365915

      Jay Ward
      Participant

      I partially cheated. I shot this as JPEGs instead of NEF to reduce the load on my laptop when I processed them.

  • #365820

    Frogdaily
    Participant

    Great Capture Jay, this image has a lot of potential. Nice job on focus stacking.  There are a couple of things I would suggest for improvement…

    Lighting: I like the way they natural light hits the pews; however, my eyes tend to stop there as the top of the image is dark … I would lighten up the Cross and curtain around it in the middle so that the viewers eyes start at the pews and follow directly up to the Cross.

    Clone out distractions: microphone in middle, partial light in upper left corner, white streak upper left side, white spot upper right corner

  • #365920

    Jay Ward
    Participant

    Thanks Frogdaily, I agree with you. Unfortunately the cross and organ pipes were in deep shadow. I pushed it up two stops or so just to get what I have now. If I'd shot it in NEF I probably could have pulled a little more. I thought about removing the mics and lights but decided to leave well enough alone.

    I used the nearest pew and the oil lamps on the alter as my two focus points. I find that the Arsenal doesn't cope well with extremely low light focusing. I could not get it to focus on the cross.

    I'll try again with all of your suggestions. Thanks for the input.

  • #366025

    Graham Hart
    Participant

    I like this shot Jay but it seems to have the main point of interest on the pews when all the interesting stuff is up back in the shadows so in this regard, I agree with Frogdaily's comments. Apart from that, I reckon a crop halfway between the bottom edge and the base of the altar, somewhere near that brightest line of light, just to enhance the symmetry even more might be worth checking out?

    • #366179

      Jay Ward
      Participant

      Here's what I think you gracious folks suggested.

      • #366180

        Dahlia Ambrose
        Keymaster

        Hi Jay, I like that more of the top and sides have been included, but the lines caused by the shadows in the foreground in the original image are brilliant. I liked it a lot 🙂

  • #366048

    Federico Alegria
    Participant

    Wow, this is a really nice photograph, and perhaps the only valuable thing left here to say after all the feedback from other Light Stalkers for you mate is to take a look at Candida Höfer's work https://www.artsy.net/artist/candida-hofer

    • #366219

      Frogdaily
      Participant

      Thanks for sharing the link Federico – Candida Höfer's  images are amazing!

  • #366217

    Frogdaily
    Participant

    Jay, I really like your newest edit – I agree with Dahlia that the lines caused by the shadows in the foreground in the original image are brilliant and with the final edit you brought them back – love that!

    The composition on this is really nice – I like how you have now incorporated the layers of ceiling above the cross along with the beautiful lighting on the pews.  The one thing I am missing is the lighting on the cross – to me this is the main subject and it is lost in the shadows.

    Here are a few things I would do:

    • Brighten up the cross – I used curve adjustments in selective areas to brighten the cross … I noticed there were a lot of red tones when I brightened the cross so I did a color balance on the midtones and highlights
    • I also toned down the reds in the image using the Curve adjustment Red channel
    • I burned the pleated areas in the curtain to bring some depth to them and bring a bit more detail.
    • cloning out distractions: pamphlets in pew lower left corner, shiny pieces on the piano and toned down the shiny piece in middle behind the righthand red chair.
    • The cross gets a little soft looking as you brighten it so I added a little clarity and dehazed
    • I also dodged the lighting in the ceiling in the back to make it look like they are on

    I see you allow editing so I thought I would show you what I am talking about to see if you like it.  I used a screen capture so you will get better results with your original image.

    • #366254

      Jay Ward
      Participant

      Can I please just send all my images to you for final editing? I really like what you did. I had masked out the cross and worked with curves to bring it up but was losing detail. Thanks for the tip on how to fix.

      This image was really just my first test with the Arsenal and the Cross was not the focal point, it was too dark to get Arsenal to use it as a focus point. You've vastly improved what I thought of as just an experimental test shot. Your comments and editing have improved my mediocre shot and increased my level of understanding about editing. Big Thanks!

      j.

  • #366218

    Frogdaily
    Participant

    I also did a B&W version to see if you like it:

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