Flowers with focus stacking

Focus stacking is a great way to get a lot of the subject in focus whilst using a lower f number to retain a blurred background.
This image of a Lady’s smock was taken with an E-M1X and a 300mm f4. (Why - because it was the combination I had with me at the time.) :slight_smile:
Initially the stack was done in camera, hand held 15 shots - Synch I.S. is amazing.
Close inspection revealed that not all the sharp parts of the photographs had been used so I did another stack using Affinity v1.
I like the ease of editing available in Affinity.
For those who have not tried the stacking feature (Focus Merge) in Affinity this video gives a simple demonstration.

EDIT: my step size was either 2 or 3.

I would love to see your flower, focus stacked images.


love the delicate colours of the flower. brilliant processing.

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This was stacked in-camera from 8 frames, the max possible with my E-M5iii. I prefer to focus bracket flowers with about 30 frames and then stack on the PC, but I was lazy today. The step size was 8, probably too large since there are bands of OOF. Still, I like the result.

Thanks for starting a stacked flower thread, I enjoyed seeing the posts in the flower threads in DPR. I hope people tell how they did the stacking so we can all learn, especially step size and number of frames.


This was initially stacked in camera (OM5, 8 shots) but I too passed the 8 shots into Affinity v1 and got a better result.


What was the step size?

Step size was 5. Seems to be about right for close ups as opposed to true macro.

Slightly off topic as this is fungi not flora, so I hope you will forgive me. Taken last Autumn using OM-1, 40-150mm F2.8. 1/5s at F2.8 and ISO 200. Step size of 3. 33 frames stacked in Zerene Stacker.



That’s really a superb composition, Mike! Looks more like a wide angle macro than a 40-150. Kudos for being able to get down that low on the ground! :slight_smile:

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absolutely lovely, love the colours, composition…fantastic.

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I think for this one I put the camera on a bean bag which is the easiest way to get low, and a longish focal length of 70mm (just checked) helps.


What a beautiful photograph. :slight_smile:
What did you use for lighting?

@Stephen Thank you.

Shot in daylight on an overcast day in woodland, so the light was pretty low hence the 1/5s shutter speed. But I used a small reflector to bounce some light back onto the underside of the fungi.


Thank you.
The reflector explains the “fill in” even light on the caps.

I use Lightroom Classic for processing. Once having selected the in-camera stacked image and deleted the others, there is no way that I know to know it was stacked other than it’s a jpeg when I normally shoot in raw. I guess it’s recorded somewhere in EXIF but AFAIK, LrC doesn’t show it.

EM1.3 with in camera focus stacking, handheld. 40-150mm F2.8 with 16mm extension tube.
From seeing what Affinity does demonstrated, I’ll have to try it out.


Grape Hyacinth


Here’s a dogwood I took with my EM5.3 a few days ago.


Thanks for sharing your photos.
Good luck with Affinity. It doesn’t always leave the edges clean but , as shown in the video, the editing is really easy.

Here is another in camera focus stacked flower, shot at 82mm and F4.5.

I focused on the closest tip of the flower and shot a 12 image stack with a focus differential of 3. As before, this was handheld, so there is some movement of the camera. EM1.3 and Oly 40-150mm with 16mm extension tube.

The first photo of the stack, showing the initial focus on the flower tip. Notice the blurry tip of the leaf on the lower right below the flower:

The the focus moves away from the flower towards the tip of the leaf over the next couple images, before moving towards the back of the flower.

The last image of the stack, showing the focus is now behind the flower. Notice the flower tip and lower right leaf is quite blurry.

Finally, the in camera stacked image:


from a small potted rose bush outside our front door


A good demonstration of how the camera moves the focus position when stacking is selected.