I say it to myself quite often…” Never pass up a photo opportunity when it presents itself.” As I was saying this to myself I stumbled across this scene which is in an area that I shoot at quite frequently. The day was grey and stormy but otherwise perfect for photography work when I spotted this rather interesting pool of green pine needles on an outcropping of rock. The deep green of the pine needles really attracted my attention and made me curious as there are no pine trees anywhere around this pool let alone finding their way into the water here and nowhere else on the rock!
The pine needles and rock I thought would make a great foreground for a focus blended image so I set up my gear and shot an eight image sequence here including one long exposure with my ten stop filter for later blending. Sometimes with focus stacking the images don’t turn out how you expect them too and I had to trash the long exposure image as I shot it at the wrong focus point (Gasp!) making blending much too difficult. I usually shoot several images and pick out the ones with the best overlap in focus…I like to cover my bases and here I used only two images.
I picked out two images that were very sharp for the pool of water and foreground as well as one for the middle ground. I did not worry about the background with the clouds and land as they were so distant that they would appear a bit soft no matter what you do. The trick with focus blending is getting a good ration of distance with your foreground and background. My one grip with this shot was that gnarly tree…It was the reason why I almost avoided making this image. It bothered me for a while but as I finished the image in the computer the more I actually did not mind it being there. I think it added to the stark feel of the image.
Image Data: Two images blended for focus with the final composite finished in Lightroom 4. ISO 100. 17mm. F11 @ 1/13. UV filter and a Cokin P series circular polarizer.