Posted by: bgtwindad | July 1, 2013

Coal Drag

Coal Drag by BGTwinDad
Coal Drag, a photo by BGTwinDad on Flickr.

A first attempt at focus stacking.  There’s still plenty to do on the scenery, but I wanted to get a photo of my H4 Mallet pulling a string of 55-ton hoppers.  And I wanted to try using my new camera (not new new, the Lumix G5) on the layout.

One of the major problems of taking photos of small objects like an N-scale train layout is the extremely narrow depth of field most cameras give at suitable distances.  This results in one small part of the photo being in sharp focus and the rest being badly out of focus.  Though one can cleverly use this phenomenon to good effect, focus stacking gives another option.

With focus stacking, you take a series of photos, each focusing on a progressively farther distant part of the picture.  You then use software such as the open-source Enfuse or the commercial Helicon Focus program to “stack” the image… blending the sharply in-focus parts of each image together to create a single final image where the entire shot is in focus.

The above is only a first attempt, and a poor one at that.  I didn’t take enough original shots to get the back part of the layout in focus, and so the effect fails, though technically I did succeed in getting most of the train in focus.

Better luck next time, though.


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