Monday, 3 May 2010
Heck, Helicon - you're good!
Over the last couple of weeks I've been messing about with Helicon Focus, the inexpensive layer stacking software, which when combined with photographs specifically taken for it can extend depth of field enourmously - in fact pretty well as much as you'd like!
The shot above was taken on a 'point and shoot' Canon G9, one of the more recent relatively inexpensive small cameras aimed at the enthusiast photographer - of course any camera could be used, but I want to highlight the fact that you didn't need anything big and posh, because technique is the all important thing rather than kit.
At this level of closeup the loco is probably bigger on your screen here than in real life if you click on the image then select 'all sizes' to reveal a decent sized view. It's not going to be possible to get everything in focus; so by shooting a few identical frames, but focussed on key spots, and then with the aid of Helicon Focus to combine the images one can create a greater depth of field. For this particular shot, three identical photographs were taken, the first focussed on the buffers, the second on the cab, and the final on the rear of the red van. The software then takes care of the rest on the computer - simple!
The sky however was added in post production, it's far prettier than the wardrobe that was behind the section layout which was on the floor simply bathed in natural window light!