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Putting things on top of other things

The Adobe magazine is usually pretentious twaddle, but this article on focus stacking in Photoshop was interesting.

You’ve probably guessed that ‘focus stacking’ is combining more than one picture to arrive at a level of sharpness across distances that isn’t otherwise possible with a camera. You’d think it would stand out as fake looking, but it doesn’t.

That’s because, counterintuitively, it’s to the way we actually see. Even though the depth of field of human vision is more limited than a camera’s, usually, our eyeballs jump around and our brain stitches it together into one really eerily well-focused whole.

This is the opposite of tilt-shift, which you’d think would be closer human vision, but isn’t at all. It makes big scenes look like weird tabletop models.

First time I’ve heard of focus stacking of conventional photography. It’s a big, big thing in photo microscopy, as you might imagine. That’s why you’re seeing amazing amateur photos of super sharp microscopic subjects these days. There are neat programs to stitch your photomicrographs together — like, thirty fifty images isn’t uncommon.

That’s when you start asking when is a photo more of an illustration. I mean, you might ask that. I don’t. I don’t give a shit, if it looks cool.


Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: January 31, 2019, 12:21 am


When I think of stacking a picture, my thoughts run to Dagmar


Despite the depth of field involved here, everything is nicely in focus…

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: January 31, 2019, 12:43 am

Given the incredible array of digital photographic manipulation, there must be an exploding market for photo forensics. Because the pixels don’t lie, do they?

Comment from Mark Matis
Time: January 31, 2019, 1:29 am

Please understand that it isn’t merely “photographic manipulation”, Deborah HH, but “video manipulation” as well:

Also understand that governments have FAR MORE supercomputers than Mere Citizens, and that they have been doing this shiite for QUITE some time now.

Comment from peacelovewoodstock
Time: January 31, 2019, 12:06 pm

There is a new controller device for certain DSLRs that provides automatic “focus stacking” among other features. They raised $2.5M US on kickstarter, and another $15M from other sources and plan to be shipping product soon. https://witharsenal.com/

I would be ordering one today, however they don’t yet support my new-ish Canon M50 mirrorless.

Comment from Wolfus Aurelius
Time: January 31, 2019, 12:49 pm

My gosh. The tilt-shift pics DO look like tabletop models.

Comment from DurnedYankee
Time: January 31, 2019, 3:42 pm

Was the putting things on top of other things you, or Uncle B?

Python fanatics. 🙂

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