How do you make a mountain appear as large to the viewer as it does to you? How do you get rid of noise in your nightscape images? How can you get everything in perfect focus, from front to back? This might as well be titled 5 things you can’t do in one shot, since each of the following techniques relies heavily on layering multiple exposures. But these are the techniques I often use to translate my vision, and turn questions like the above into reality. Let’s go!
1. Perfect focus through focus-stacking
We’re kicking things off with a technique that originated in macro photography, which captures a sharp subject and retains a creamy background. But what if you wanted to also capture a sharp background? That’s where we shift our attention to landscape photography. With focus-stacking, you can fix everything in place throughout multiple exposures.
Using a solid tripod and shooting with a cable release will ensure the camera doesn’t move. For the best results, every setting on the camera should also be exactly the same: white balance (fixable in post when shooting RAW), shutter speed, ISO, and aperture.
The one difference is the focus distance. Start by adjusting focus to the closest object in the scene and wait for the wind to die down (if applicable). Hit the cable release and adjust to focus a little further into the scene. Repeat this process until you’ve reached infinity focus distance. You will need more exposures at shorter distance intervals when you use a larger aperture, like f/5.6.