Focus Stacking Examples

On this page I'm displaying some of my favourite focus stacking examples. Within each box you'll find a brief description of the stack project, a random single shot from the shoot, and the final stacked example. The stacked final shot has a red border and the random individual shot has a green border.


Stacked from 12 original images. This is a tray of tubes of watercolour paint.


Stacked from 29 original images. This is the component side of the innards of what was once a cable modem.

Circuitry - the other side

Stacked from 73 original images. This is a tiny part of the solder side of the innards of what was once a cable modem.

A Pointed Red Bell Pepper

Stacked from 20 original images. Grown on my very own kitchen window ledge

Signs of Autumn

Stacked from 17 original images. Acorns, leaves, crab apples and stalks.

More signs of Autumn

Stacked from 22 original images. Acorns, leaves, and stalk.

Yet more signs of Autumn

Stacked from 22 original images. Acorns and crab apples.

Autumn continues to be macrophotogenic!

Stacked from 20 original images. Horse chestnuts. Known in the UK as conkers

Random access

Stacked from 25 original images. I found an old disk drive in the cupboard. At 250 Mb it seemed a pretty poor comparision against my several 5 Tb drives so I took its lid off

Tiny dead leaves

Stacked from 43 original images. These are dead leaves which had dropped from my pointed red pepper plant, subject of a stack up the page. Each leaf was less than an inch in length

Interesting side-note here. Look at this detail from the middle of one of the original 43 images:

See those lines across it, alternatively light and dark? When I first looked at this I thought my camera was biting the dust. Hey, what? It's only taken 6000 exposures, it can't be dying yet! On further consideration, it looked like the lines were some sort of light interference, and then It hit me. I had too much light on the subject and thus the exposure was only 1/400 sec. I figured that at such a short exposure we were seeing LED switching. The subject was illuminated with three LED lights. LEDs don't provide continuous light, they flicker, and I think that at 1/400 sec we were catching the illumination mid-flicker. QED, solved. Answer: long exposures, maybe longer than 1/50, such that during the exposure all three lamps had flickered enough times to smooth out the effect.

An Autumn still-life

Stacked from 30 original images. A slowly drying-up and wrinkly conker plus assorted leaves

Take one every six hours

Stacked from 14 original images. Just a couple of tablet bubble packs.

String and Cotton

Stacked from 16 original images.

The Shopping List

Stacked from 28 original images. This is a pretend shopping list. I wanted to capture the texture of the purple fountain pen ink but, more importantly, I wanted to capture the fine detail of the elements of the notebook - the ruled lines, the edges of the pages, and the torn remains of previous pages. Even the little bit of the red ribbon placemarker, shown here tucked between two pairs of pages. I wish, on reflection, I'd pulled out the ribbon so more of it was visible. Maybe next time. I wish I could show you the original stacked image because the detail is astonishing, but it's 7360 pixels wide and 21 Mb in size - far too big for a web page -but I've added a 100% sized section at the bottom to give a taste

Silica Gel

This is the stuff inside those little white paper packets you find when you unpack your new camera. It's designed to absorb moisture and keep your gear dry. Here are the contents from two different packets I found lying around and ripped open. Usually they're transparent and colourless, but I was surprised to find orange beads in one packet and opaque ceramic-like beads in the other. They vary between about 2 and 4 millimetres in diameter. I photographed them on a scrunched-up piece of kitchen paper so they would keep still. 36 pictures were taken at ISO 160 at f/5.6 and exposures were around 1/100 of a second. Three separate LED light sources. The front of the lens was about 7 inches from the gel and there was about 2 inches between the nearest and farthest bead. The third image here is a 100% crop from one of the individual shots.