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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.

January 30, 2019 — 10:11 pm
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