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Foreground in focus

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Background in focus

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Two exposures combined to achieve infinite depth of field

How deep would you like your depth of field to be? The choice is yours. Today, there are virtually no limits. You can extend depth of field beyond the physical limitations of any lens/camera system with multi-shot exposure practices and software – by compositing multiple exposures.

To do this you first need to make a set of focus bracketed exposures, optimizing focus in different image areas. How many exposures you’ll need will depend on how much depth of field a scene contains. At a minimum, make two exposures; one focused on the foreground and another focused on the background. Making three exposures is better; one each for foreground, middle ground and background. When dealing with extreme depth of field, like macro or microphotography, you’ll want to make more exposures, at least three, probably six, possibly more. When in doubt, make more exposures than you think you’ll need; you don’t have to use them all when you stack the separate exposures, but they’ll be there if you need them. Unlike bracketing for HDR, it’s almost impossible to automate these types of bracketing sequences in camera as focus needs to be adjusted for each frame. However, for tethered shooting, you can use software such as Helicon Remote to take control of your camera and automate this process and other bracketed sequences like HDR and time-lapse. Whenever possible use a tripod to make focusing during exposure more precise and registration during post-processing easier. While using a tripod always delivers more reliable results, don’t let this stop you from trying this technique hand-held, especially with simpler sequences, like those used in landscape. You may notice that In cases involving extreme depth of field, you may notice the relative size of objects may change between individual exposures. These effects will be automatically adjusted during the merging process.

Before you combine a set of focus bracketed exposures, make all the Raw conversion adjustments you’d like to make to the final file. It’s quick and easy to process a focus bracketed series of files; process one file in the series ideally and then Sync the other files to it. Once a Raw file is rendered, you can’t re-access the data in it, such as ‘recovering’ highlights or ‘filling’ shadows, without re-rendering it. While, you can adjust lens distortions after stacking with Photoshop’s filter Lens Corrections, it’s much easier, faster and more robust to apply Lens Corrections during raw conversion, before focus stacking 16-bit TIFFs.

Once you have a processed set of focus bracketed exposures you can automate the process of stacking and blending them into a single file in Photoshop. (Unlike HDR and Panorama merges, you can’t make a focus stacked merge in Lightroom – currently.)

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Photoshop’s Auto-Blend Layers dialog

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Photoshop’s auto-masked layer stack

Take these four steps.

1          Using Adobe Bridge highlight all of the files you’d like to combine.

2          Go to Tools > Photoshop > Load Files Into Photoshop Layers

3          In Photoshop’s Layers palette highlight the layers

4          Go To Edit > Auto-Blend Layers, check Stack Images and click OK

You can then further refine these results, including manually adjusting the automated masks or distorting layers, but this is rarely necessary. Photoshop does a fine job for a majority of applications.

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Helicon Focus’ main window

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Helicon Focus’ Autoadjustment panel

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Quotes_Concentration

Enjoy this collection of quotes on Concentration.

“The power to concentrate was the most important thing. Living without this power would be like opening one’s eyes without seeing anything.” ― Haruki Murakami

“Concentration is the secret of strength.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Concentrated attention is the collection of units of power on a chosen point of intention.” – James Arthur Ray

“If you don’t concentrate on what you are doing then the thing that you are doing is not what you are thinking.” – Alfred, Lord Tennyson

“Don’t dissipate your powers; strive to concentrate them.” – Goethe

“One reason so few of us achieve what we truly want is that we never direct our focus; we never concentrate our power. Most people dabble their way through life, never deciding to master anything in particular.” – Anthony Robbins

“Each man is capable of doing one thing well. If he attempts several, he will fail to achieve distinction in any.” – Plato

“The difference in men does not lie in the size of their hands, nor in the perfection of their bodies, but in this one sublime ability of concentration: to throw the weight in one blow, to live eternity in an hour.” – Elbert Hubbard

“The five essential entrepreneurial skills for success are concentration, discrimination, organization, innovation and communication. -Michael Faraday

“Concentration is my motto — first honesty, then industry, then concentration. -Andrew Carnegie

“The ability to concentrate and to use time well is everything.” – Lee Iacocca

“Singleness of purpose is one of the chief essentials for success in life, no matter what may be one’s aim.” – John D. Rockefeller

“The joy of life is born of concentration. When you are having a cup of tea, the value of that experience depends on your concentration. You have to drink the tea with 100 percent of your concentration.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

“To be concentrated means to live fully in the present.” – Erich Fromm

“Concentration is the ability to think about absolutely nothing when it is absolutely necessary.” – Ray Knight

“Intelligence is the door to freedom and alert attention is the mother of intelligence.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn

“Concentrate on your motivation… and the thought of what about the scene made you stop to look.” – Richard K. Kaiser

“The artist works with a concentration of his whole personality, and the conscious part of it resolves conflicts, organized memories, and prevents him from trying to walk in two directions at the same time.” – Henry Moore

To be able to concentrate for a considerable time is essential to difficult achievement.” -Bertrand Russell

“I never could have done what I have done without the habits of punctuality, order, and diligence, without the determination to concentrate myself on one subject at a time…” – Charles Dickens

“Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.” – Alexander Graham Bell

“The only way I could work properly was by using the absolute maximum of observation and concentration that I could possible muster.” – Lucian Freud

“Concentration comes out of a combination of confidence and hunger.” – Arnold Palmer

“The more intensely we feel about an idea or a goal, the more assuredly the idea, buried deep in our subconscious, will direct us along the path to its fulfilment.” – Earl Nightingale

“Great art is always a way of concentrating, reinventing what is called fact, what we know of our existence – a reconcentration… tearing away the veils that fact acquires through time.” – Francis Bacon

“Who knows how many artists fail because the light that shines through them is defracted in a thousand directions and not concentrated in a single beam?” – Eric Maisel

“Nothing more wonderfully concentrates a man’s mind than the sure knowledge he is to be hanged in the morning.” – Samuel Johnson

“Concentrate: you can’t have it all.” – Twyla Tharp

“Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.” – Zig Ziglar

“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.” –
Henry Ford

“Focus more on your desire than on your doubt, and the dream will take care of itself.” – Mark Twain

“I don’t focus on what I’m up against. I focus on my goals and I try to ignore the rest.” – Venus Williams

“Concentration is a fine antidote to anxiety.” Jack Nicklaus

Focusing is about saying “No”. – Steve Jobs

“Without touching my subject I want to come to the moment when, through pure concentration of seeing, the composed picture becomes more made than taken. Without a descriptive caption to justify its existence, it will speak for itself – less descriptive, more creative; less informative, more suggestive – less prose, more poetry.” – Ernst Haas

“Elegance is achieved when all that is superfluous has been discarded and the human being discovers simplicity and concentration: the simpler and more sober the posture, the more beautiful it will be.” – Paulo Coelho

Explore The Essential Collection Of Creativity Quotes here.

View The Essential Collection Of Creativity Videos here.

Discover more quotes in my social networks.

Quotes_Focus

Enjoy this collection of quotes on Focus.

“If you chase two rabbits, both will escape” — Anonymous

“That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” – Steve Jobs

“Focusing is about saying No.” ― Steve Jobs

“My success, part of it certainly, is that I have focused in on a few things.” — Bill Gates

“Most of what we say and do is not essential. If you can eliminate it, you’ll have more time, and more tranquillity. Ask yourself at every moment, ‘Is this necessary?’” — Marcus Aurelius

“A person who is gifted sees the essential point and leaves the rest as surplus.” – Thomas Carlyle

“If you don’t pay appropriate attention to what has your attention, it will take more of your attention than it deserves.” – David Allen

“One way to boost our will power and focus is to manage our distractions instead of letting them manage us.” – Daniel Goleman

“Avoid fragmentation: Find your focus and seek simplicity. Purposeful living calls for elegant efficiency and economy of effort—expending the minimum time and energy necessary to achieve desired goals.” – Dan Millman

“Do whatever you do intensely.” — Robert Henri

“To create something exceptional, your mindset must be relentlessly focused on the smallest detail.” — Giorgio Armani

“If you just focus on the smallest details, you never get the big picture right.” – Leroy Hood

“When you are completely caught up in something, you become oblivious to things around you, or to the passage of time. It is this absorption in what you are doing that frees your unconscious and releases your creative imagination.” – Rollo May

“For a person to become deeply involved in any activity it is essential that he knows precisely what tasks he must accomplish, moment by moment.” — Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

“The more a person feels skilled, the more her moods will improve; while the more challenges that are present, the more her attention will become focused and concentrated.” — Mihaly Csikszentmihaly

“Life is a train of moods like a string of beads; and as we pass through them they prove to be many colored lenses, which paint the world their own hue, and each shows us only what lies in its own focus.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.” – Mark Twain

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Julieanne Kost demonstrates how to make selections based on depth of field using Focus Mask to help isolate portions of your image for further editing.

View more Photoshop Videos here.

Learn more in my digital photography and digital imaging workshops.

Richard Harrington quickly and simply displays the magic offered by Photoshop‘s Blur Gallery.

View more Photoshop Videos here.

Learn more in my digital printing and digital photography workshops.

13 Quotes On Focus

December 14, 2012 | Leave a Comment |

Find out more about this image here.

Here’s a collection of my favorite quotes on focus.

“A person who aims at nothing is sure to hit it.” — Anonymous

“One reason so few of us achieve what we truly want is that we never direct our focus; we never concentrate our power. Most people dabble their way through life, never deciding to master anything in particular.” — Tony Robbins

“Focus is a matter of deciding what things you’re not going to do.” — John Carmack

“Discovering what you really want saves you endless confusion and wasted energy.” — Stuart Wilde

“But when you’re beginning, you should try to focus on something you love and your own way of doing things.” — Jerry Harrison

“A clear vision, backed by definite plans, gives you a tremendous feeling of confidence and personal power.” — Brian Tracy

“Concentration can be cultivated. One can learn to exercise will power, discipline one’s body and train one’s mind.” — Anil Ambani

“The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.” — Bruce Lee

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