Focus Stacking to Extend Depth of Field in Landscape Photography
Nikon's 105mm F2.5 Ai lens coupled with focus stacking enables simple extension of depth-of-field for this image of a beautiful little cascade in American Fork Canyon in Utah's Wasatch Mountains. The cascade is the result of one of many natural springs in the mountains. When the winter snow melts, in the spring, most of the water flows down the canyon's river but some of percolates INTO the mountain collecting in the faults there. This water eventually finds its way outside the mountain at some lower elevation results in the many springs in the area. The springs flow, throughout the entire year, at a constant rate resulting this lush green little cascade. The actual spring is about 50 feet above the cascade.
The images for this "Stack" are collected using the 105 F/1.2 Ai mounted on my Nikon D800E camera, supported on a tripod of course. I find that the large focus throw of this manual lens easily facilitates focusing at multiple locations in the scene, stepping from the foreground to the background. This particular set of images were collected early in the morning. The air was very still with essentially no breeze. The camera was set at F8 and ISO controlled to achieve the shutter speed so that the flowing water is smoothed as desired. Zerene Stacker allows editing of the images to assure that the water at each in-focus region is selected appropriately. Since the air was calm, the only thing moving was the water. Editing was done in a couple of minutes. Once practiced, the entire process is easy to perform. I actually practiced this at several times during the spring, to select the motion blurring the water I desired and pick a time when the spring flowers were at a peak. There is a little bird on the moss. Can you find it?
Beautiful little Spring-fed Cascade - entire Depth in Focus