Focus Stacking Photography
Professional nature photography has a way of "keeping it real" called focus stacking.
Photographers have to fight to keep detail or depth of field in the macro world. I use focus stacking or the combination of many images into one image. Information on Cognisys StackShot and other products that I rely on may be found at the Cognisys-Inc web site where we found this explanation of focus stacking...
"Focus Stacking - Automated Macro Photography
Macro-photography is a fascinating sub-set of the photographic world. It brings to life detail that the human eye all too often misses. Unfortunately macro photographs often suffer from a narrow depth of field. How do photographers capture that stunning shot at high magnification and still have a great depth of field? Enter focus stacking. Focus stacking is the art of digitally combining a series of images with a narrow depth of field into a single image using a software program such as Zerene Stacker or Helicon Focus. Ideally each of these images is taken at a fixed distance interval.
Most macro photographers are familiar with using a macro rail to adjust the camera's position relative to the subject of interest. These macro rails allow the distance to be roughly adjusted and provide a crude manual method for taking the series of shots required for focus stacking. Unfortunately there are several drawbacks. There is a lack of accuracy, reproducibility, speed, and precision. Additionally, sub-millimeter steps are difficult at best.
StackShot is an electronically controlled macro-rail that coordinates the movement of the rail and the triggering of the camera. StackShot's simple user-interface automates the entire image capturing process..."
Challenges -The extra detail that comes from performing focus stacking is costly. Extra labour is required to capture and process additional images plus dealing with artifacts. The process of creating a stacked images tends to create halos around objects. The halos seem to be caused by the slight shifting of the frames or the images in the frames between shots. The halos must be manually removed. Retouching software in Helicon Focus or Zerene help the halo removal process but it still takes time. More photoshop editing time is normally required.
Practical Information on how to use Zerene Stacker Software may be found at the Zerene website
Information on Helicon Focus Software may be found at the Helicon Focus website
Nature needs depth of field from focus stacking