2014—Blended Lily

On Monday, I took some macro shots of a beautiful orange lily that my friend Carly gave to me. The lily is unusual because it has a second row of spiky petals surrounding the stamen. I’d never seen a lily like this, nor had Carly. I think the name of it might have been on the bouquet when she presented it to me on Sunday but the name is now “gone with the wine!” And no, that is not a typo.

When I took the shots, though, only small parts of the flower were in focus and I wanted to show more of the flower detail. One of the focus issues I have discovered with macro photography is that the depth of field is so extremely shallow that only a very small portion of the photograph is in focus, even when using a small aperture, so despite my efforts, only a minuscule part of each shot was in focus. So, I wondered if I could create a “focus stacked” image in Photoshop. A few months ago, I’d never heard the term “focus stacking.” Now, I hear it all the time. Focus Stacking is a technique used to combine a group of photographic images, especially macro images, to create a single image that is in focus throughout. And I discovered that “Yes!” I could do it in Photoshop and it is easy. I took ten photographs of the lily, focusing on different parts of the flower in each shot. Then, exported the shots to Photoshop and with a few clicks, I had a Focus Blended image that shows most of the flower in focus. Wow!

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