Set a Photography Goal for 2018!

Pick one thing, and JUST DO IT! Have you wanted to learn a new skill in editing? Perhaps you have just wanted to try to shoot something that you haven’t done before. New piece of gear and learn how to use it? What ever it is think about one thing that you said, “I need to do that”! Write it down and put it where you’ll see it and let it sink into your mind till you take action and go do it.

For me I have wanted to take the time to learn (really learn) how to focus stack. Today was my real first step into that skill. I went out to McInnis Canyon today and found some of my favorite subject matter and went to it.

Copy that link to see my test photos. I don’t want to take up club space. The Twisted Tree stump really turned out well. Getting every bit of those Juniper tree’s in focus is always an impossible task….Until now! Also another favorite subject is the Rock Face’s. I love the texture, but it is hard to get the camera sensor in the same plane of focus as the rock. Look forward to re-shooting some of my favorite places!

Of course Focus stacking isn’t for everything, nor would you always want everything in focus, but when it is absolutely necessary and your subject isn’t moving…lol it’s pretty cool.

So what ever it is you want to do, get out there this month and JUST DO IT! See ya at the meeting.


3 responses on “Set a Photography Goal for 2018!

  1. Edward Kunzelman

    Not to discourage you from your goal of learning focus stacking techniques, because there certainly are instances where the camera is unable to render an entire scene from front to back in sharp focus. But do we fully understand where that limit is? And… if we’re not able to recognize the resulting depth of field given a particular aperture and focal length, then how do we determine the total number of images from which to assemble our final focus stacked image? Two; three; ten? Again, I realize that it’s not part of your stated goal for what you want to learn, but with the image of the twisted pinyon pine, did you consult your hyperfocal distance table and attempt to capture the entire tree in focus using one exposure? It might not be as impossible as you think. Most beginning photographers will focus in the center, which is probably the front of this tree. But by using a wider angle lens (which has greater depth of field than a longer zoom lens), using a smaller aperture (F/16-22), and moving your focus point back toward the middle of the tree, maybe we can capture the whole tree in focus using one click of the shutter. Or maybe not. But it’s worth sitting down with a hyperfocal distance chart and evaluating the math behind the picture, before assuming that these sort of pictures will be better as a result of focus stacking. It’s sort of the same principle as HDR. Some people assume that every picture is gonna be better by merging three or more exposures, but that’s rarely the case. Anyway, have fun. That’s what it’s all about. I’m contemplating my own challenge… trying to get beyond the stage of “an idea percolating in my mind.”

  2. Jeff Morse Post author

    You bring up good points. Focus stacking does not replace, doing the work. I would say that while I understand the theory, and have many many times attempted to produce a good result, more often than not I get back to the computer and all said and done, I missed it. There is also the fact, like yesterday, I even forgot to bring the manual to my fancy newer camera, let alone the hyper-focal distance chart. I spent 20 minutes sitting on the ground trying to figure out how to get the camera to do what I wanted. All said and done, I think this is another tool that I didn’t have available to me, and giving me a way to know that I can achieve the result I’m looking for if I have the time. As for learning, I’ve just scratched the surface. I look forward to working on the technique each time I go out. Rock faces are really hard to get all in focus. I have a tilt angle 24 mm which is useful, but that has limitations as well. There is also the matter of my eyesight, which if I had to rely on solely for determining focus, I’d have to find a different hobby. I rely on the technology to make up for this weakness.

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