Day Lily 4 Shot Panorama & Focus Stacking

I used 4 photos shot at different focus points and narrow depth of field to get a soft background along with sharp detail on my flower subjects. Shot with a handheld Sigma 150mm macro lens @ f/5.6. Assembled in Photoshop for both the blending of images and then the panorama.

Davidson’s Mill 50 Image Landscape Panorama

While I was photographing small birds in the tall trees at Davidson’s Mill Pond Park in Monmouth County NJ, I was waiting for some subject birds in the trees to photograph. I was using a 400mm lens with a 1.4x teleconverter. There  was a lull in bird activity so I thought I would try a multi-image panorama of the field and trees in the distance. I was wondering if I could hold the detail in the grasses and tree branches, so I took off the teleconverter to help hold detail in the trees and leaves. I was also using a tripod to help with the detail (camera shake) and to keep a level horizon. I first shot a line series of 25 shots in a row. I thought it was too long and needed more height. I decided to try 2 rows of 25 images per row to get more height. So with the 2 rows of 25 images each, I had 50 images to align, stack and blend. I selected my images and opened them in Adobe Camera Raw and adjusted my settings for sharpness, color, noise reduction, lens distortion, etc. Then I selected the option to open all the files in one layered Photoshop file. Once in Photoshop, I did an Auto-align images, then Auto Blend to combine everything. It automatically aligns and combines the sharpest areas (hopefully) in the files. There are multiple choices for blending modes, but with telephoto lenses Auto seems to work fairly well. If not, you can try one of the others. So I ended up with a 50 Image pano (25 images per row, 2 rows, 50 images total). Final image is 164 inches long. It was more a test to see how the telephoto pano would work, since most of my panos are more wide to normal focal lengths or macro panos and stacking, but that would be a future blog post. Other options in Photoshop are multiple images of the same subject to blend and increase sharpness and/or reduce noise in your image (since noise is random in each image) Or multiple images of the same scene crowded with people moving about, then removing the people automatically by blending the layers in a certain way. So it always fun to try new ways to photograph your subjects and you never know when it will come in handy to get the shot you want! After that I shot 15 horizontal shots for a vertical panorama of a single tree, Again with a 400mm lens.

.DM Tree 16img Horiz Pano

Reddish-Egret – 2 Shot Pano

It is not often that while I am walking looking for photo subjects, that one comes so close I cannot fit it all in the viewfinder. So I try shooting my subject with 2 overlapping images. You have to take a few multiple images quickly, to try to avoid any movement of your subject. Usually a little movement, I can deal with. In Photoshop I try letting Photoshop automatically align and combine them. If that does not work I do it manually. So one way or another, it is a way to get the image.

The featured image is 2 horizontal images stacked vertically and combined.

_Reddish_Egret v4 MG_4671

Another 2 shot composite. 2 horizontal images stacked in Photoshop. 300mm f/4 lens

_Reddish_Egret v2 MG_4671

Example – showing top half of image before combining and adjusting colors, etc. in Photoshop.

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