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Categorized | Articles, Don Komarechka

Pushing Limits – Stacking Images to Expand Focus and Time (preview)

©Don Komarechka
Stars

By Don Komarechka

One way I’ve been pushing limits with my own photography in the past decade is trying to uncover ways to overcome the limitations of physics. For astrophotography, especially over long timescales, light pollution adds up to frustration. In macro photography we are faced with a depth-of-field that’s so shallow, we miss important details. The solution in both these cases is to combine multiple images together. Almost all of the effort in both scenarios is done in-camera, with an easy-to-follow process to make magic in Photoshop.

Starting with the night sky, one of my favourite concepts is to reveal the movement of the stars across the sky. You can do this with a single exposure measuring 30 minutes or longer, which isn’t for the faint of heart. Even if you can achieve this, you’ll find most of the horizon overexposed due to light pollution you would have never noticed with your own eyes. The easiest way to dive into this type of photography is to shoot 30-second exposures, and all you’ll need is a wired shutter release.

All wired shutter releases have a locking function that allows you to constantly depress the shutter even when you walk away from the camera and let go of the remote. Testing your exposure beforehand is a good idea, but I like to start at ISO 3200, ƒ2.8 and 30 seconds with focus set precisely to infinity. Once a test shot is successful, make sure that your camera is set to …

To read about Don’s technique for stacking images, and to read more of this not-to-miss issue please pick up the Spring 2018 issue today online or at your local newsstand. To never miss an issue you can subscribe here

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