Intro & Why You Need To Stack – Start Here

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28 thoughts on “Intro & Why You Need To Stack – Start Here

  1. LOL – yeah, in Photoshop that would take some time!

    You can go to any video you want at any time. When you’re on your courses page:
    Just click the main course name and the course will expand. Every unit title is a direct link to that video.

  2. Pls ignore the snarkyness — in fact delete it if you prefer but I would still like to skip around. (I have been using Nikon Focus Shift since I got my D850 three years ago and my Z7 two years ago.)
    But regarding Zeryene Stacker their website is seriously out of date and after a 10 minute skim through I renewed with Helicon Focus.

    1. I’ll remove it since we’re set. I like Zerene, but yeah, that site is really old!! If you have any issues skipping around, just let me know.


    1. There are links in the previous unit (Download Central) that allow you to download all of the videos.

      1. FYI – the download (optional) link here takes you to download page for the lightroom course.

  4. I’ve been doing focus stacking on my D850 for quite some time. None the less, I found this video to be an excellent introduction and I’m looking forward to viewing the rest of the series

    1. Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Good so far, thanks Steve

  6. I purchased this course even tho I only have the D810, which does not have the stacking feature. I am hoping that I will learn some good tips for post processing my manually stacked shots.
    Steve is a great teacher as he goes the extra mile when explaining anything!

  7. I liked what I saw. Thank you Ron

  8. Great introduction Steve. I learned a lot about when NOT to focus stack.

  9. Steve,
    Will a polarizer or ND filter have any adverse effects on the focus stacking process?

    1. Nope, none at all – at least not from an optical standpoint (if the light loss drops the shutter speed it could be a concern in some cases). In fact, I recommend one for macros in the Accessories video ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Thanks Steve ! Another great video series ! i too have attempted several projects D850 with acceptable success and some disasters . You covered lots of info that answered lots of questions . Like all of your other material ,books and videos, was not disappointed ! Good work

    1. Thank you!

  11. As usual this is a great intro to the subject. I only have D500 and therefore I can’t set up the feature but I will try the manual route-it will be nice if firmware update could introduce the feature in cameras that don’t have the it in the future! I’m looking forward to watching the rest of the videos.

  12. Great workshop, lots of great tips, one question, I live in Ohio and have been to Hocking Hills lots of times, how were you able to get the photo of Rock House with no people in the photo, itโ€™s always packed with people when Iโ€™ve been there!!!! ๐Ÿ˜. BTW recommended this workshop to a lot of my photographer friends.

    1. Thanks! I was up REALLY early, on a weekday, and had to work fast to get that shot ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. I just finished my first pass through your new Focus Shift class. One question: did you intend to only charge $14.97 for the course, or was that a typo? Itโ€™s the best bargain I have ever seen in an online course. Several parts to the class: Using Focus Shift on my Nikon D850, stacking landscapes, stacking macros, using Photoshop, using Zerene Stacker, using Helicon Focus, editing with Photoshop, and editing with Lightroom. Iโ€™ve had experience with all of those programs, but I still learned a ton with each one. Every component was worth the $14.97, and after a few years of frustration I finally feel like I can produce and edit a stacked image. I have a lizard in my backyard just waiting for me.
    Thanks a million.
    Ken Jones
    Chatsworth, California

  14. I have watched, and in some cases rewatched, the focus stacking tutorial and say without reservation that it is great instruction and a great value. If fact, I think you under price your offerings, but don’t raise prices yet. I’m still working through them.

  15. I am going through this for my second time. I have only used focus stacking for a year since I got the z6. I love it. I did exactly what you said and tried to focus stack everything at Arches. I learned fast it isnโ€™t always necessary. I have a question on the waterfall stacks. How do you handle the moving water. Do you have to do something special in post process. Can you also tell me the settings for them. Iโ€™m learning a lot with these videos. Thank you for putting this together.

  16. I have two questions after watching that video.
    1. In my experience, tree frogs’ throats move rapidly as they are breathing (I’ve never found a red-eyed tree frog, but I assume they are similar). So how is it possible for the throat (or any other body part that moves with breathing) to be so sharp after stacking?

    2. At the end of the video, you suggested that the insect on the twig would be impossible to focus stack, yet apparently you did anyhow?

    1. 1. We cover that extensively in the video where we stack the gray tree for ๐Ÿ™‚

      2. I used a clamp I’ll discuss in the accessories video to stabilize the shot.

  17. Just found you through a DP review forum where I was posing a question… wow sure wish I had seen this video before my 24 hr rental of Sony 7R2 to make focus stack an image that I was commissioned to have printed 5ft x8 ft…. and after so much time, frustration and wasted digital file space shooting in studio with strobe ( just as with sony manual approach) but with my Z7 focus shift…. ok long intro to this Q… I am shooting series with studio strobes of still lifes .so often I feel as if I have way too many files that are completely out of focus , so then I reduce down to maybe only 15 frames… I hope to learn more in the videos how to resolve this cause your macro images are shocking to me how many images you are having to shoot. thank you …. soooo glad I found you. I have NEVER found much help on line for Focus stacking.

  18. At 7:23 and again at 11:00 you reference river water scenes where you used focus stacking. While the overall sharpness is amazing, and I know that is the point of the video, I’m curious how you got the motion blur effect on the water that I would normally associate with longer exposure. Was there enough variation between frames to produce that effect on the final composite, or were you actually using slower shutter speeds? Thanks for your time; I’m loving the information.

    1. I think those were at around 1/4 second. I just shot the stack as normal – you’d be surprised how well the water blends between shots even at slower speeds. I always thought it would be a problem when I first tried it, but it never has been.

  19. Steve,
    You are one of the few that can be on the top of their game and teach how to do it.
    Not only teach it, but do so in a manner that I feel like your friend.
    That is very rare in any profession.
    Thanks, Harry

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