A Stack of Roots

Despite having a lot of desert images from November that I like very much, my pick as photo of the month for November is this photo of the roots of a fallen Jeffrey Pine. I made it along the Big Laguna Trail at Laguna Mountains.

Roots of a fallen Jeffrey Pine at Big Laguna Trail, Laguna Mountains, California, United States.
Jeffrey Pine Roots — Big Laguna Trail, Laguna Mountains, California, United States. November 2013.

I picked this image because it is something new for me: a focus stack. Since optics/physics doesn’t allow capturing a sharp image with the required depth of field from a single exposure, multiple captures are made, each focused a little bit further in, until all areas of the subject are captured with sufficient sharpness. These individual captures are then combined into a single image on the computer, allowing us to make images that would otherwise have been impossible. The above photo is a blend of five single exposures.

I knew about this technique for quite a long time, but never really applied it to my photography. I heard about it again from speakers George Lepp and Ralph Clevenger at the first c’t digital photography seminar in Santa Monica in October, and that got me curious again. Thankfully, the process is mostly automatic and software does all the hard work! :)

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