Focusing is always a significant matter for photography. This mode is preferably one of the essential elements of photography. An out focused lens may destroy the whole photography. While doing photography, we are focusing on a specific area or point. A lens can usually focus on a particular location or point. In general language, the apparent clear area after focusing is the depth of the focus or Depth of Field. And when it is extended than the usual one then is called the Extended Depth of Field.
Making Extended Depth of Field
Now, what if we want to focus on multiple areas which are not usual for a normal lens? Well, we may have heard about the extended depth of filed. If we don’t even know about this, then the following article will let you know about the extended depth of filed. The following article will also allow you to make an extended depth of field by photoshop.
The Depth of Field
There is a certain distance about the plain of focus in which the image formed by a lens becomes acceptably sharp after being focused. It is the depth of field. This may sound tough. Let’s make it simple. Suppose there are three objects in a line maintaining some distance each and you have focused on the first one.
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You may see the first object sharp and the rest two blur. So, the portion you see is the depth of filed for that instance. Now, after an adjustment of your camera and lens if you can see next object clear including the first one, then your depth of filed has increased from the first object up to the second one. So, Depth of field (DOF) is the extent that a lens can clear with a specific setup.
However, a lens can focus only a certain point at a time. So, while focusing you will not get the whole thing focused. But there are differences in a certain point. It may be a comparatively bigger area or a smaller area. A large depth of field (DOF) is named as deep focus, and a small depth of field (DOF) is called as a shallow focus. For landscape photography or anything which needs a bigger description in the photo, demands a large depth of field (DOF). And photography which needs very specific is to be described demands a small depth of field.
Extended Depth of Fields
I mentioned earlier that a lens could focus only on one or certain points. But what if we want to focus all the points at a time? Can we do that? Well, a lens as already said is not capable of doing so. There are many cameras which can do it because of its hybrid technology.
Again we can have different exposures and make it a combined one to get the depth of all the area. And thereby, that will become a photo with extended depth of field. Extended depth of field means the depth larger than the usual one that a lens can provide.
Relation Between Depth of Field and Aperture
There is a great relation between aperture and depth of field. Firstly, the depth of field depends on the opening of the aperture. For a wide aperture the depth of field will be less, and for a narrow aperture, the depth of field will be more. So we can say that narrower the aperture more is the depth of field, and wider the aperture less is the depth of field.
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Therefore for getting the depth of field or deep focus, we need to select narrow aperture. For an extended depth of field, our normal lens is not capable. However, there are some ways by following which we can get an extended depth of field even after using a normal lens.
How to Get Extended Depth of Field
If we have a normal lens and camera which do not have any special or hybrid quality to capture the extended depth of field then we have to follow few procedures. In this case, we need to make the photo in two steps.
Firstly we have to take a photo, and then we need to go for post editing using Photoshop. We shall discuss the whole process with details. For easy understanding and better assimilation, we shall consider three photos which I have captured.
Capturing and Preprocessing
Here is three photos captured by me as shown below this para. The subjects in the photo are a computer mouse and a guitar-pick. Before taking the pictures, I have mounted the camera on a tripod. ISO: 500, Aperture:f/14, Exposure: 0.6 sec, Mode: Manual, Format: RAW. The main differences among these three photos are only in their focus points. In the first photo the focus was on the logo of the mouse, in the second photo the focus was on the wheel of the mouse, and for the last photo, the focus was on the pick.
So, we can see that the depth of field is different. Focusing on one point has a certain depth of field. Say our requirement is to extend the depth of field in such a way thus the mouse logo, the wheel of the mouse and the pick of the guitar come within the field or depth of focus. Thereby we will achieve an extended depth of field.
After capturing save all the photos in a file naming as 1, 2 and 3 as per sequence. At the same time keep another copy of the first one in any other folder. This is not that important, but it will help a bit during editing in Photoshop. So do not be very serious for making another folder and keeping another copy of the first photo.
Editing in Photoshop
This is a very easy process. If you have photoshop, then you don’t need to think too much for making the extended depth of field. The steps are very easy. I shall show all the steps sequentially with appropriate photos thus it becomes very easy for you to assimilate. And at the at the end, you will get a video which will make you clear. Let’s start with it then.
Step 1: Uploading And Merging
Open Photoshop and click on the ‘File.’ Then go to ‘Automate’ and select ‘Photomerge.’ So, it comes File> Automate> Photomerge. This is the starting and uploading of files with which you are going to work.
After selecting ‘Photomerge,’ select ‘Browse’ on the next window which that has already appeared. Then select no 1, no 2 and no 3 photos. Again click ‘Browse’ and open that copied no 1 photo which you have kept in some other drive or another place of the PC.
This is because, if you select the same picture from the same place then it will not be uploaded. After you have selected all photos, click on ‘Ok.’ Now, Photoshop will take some time to align all the photos in a single frame.
Step 2: Deleting Layer Masks
Now select the first layer and delete the layer masks from all the layers by clicking right click on the layer mask. Do same for all the photos.
Step 3: Hiding All
After deleting all the layer mask, select the first layer. Then go to ‘Layer’ at the top left of the page. Then select ‘Layer Mask’ and then click ‘Hide All.’ Layer> Layer Mask> Hide All.
Step 4: Selecting Brush
Select the Brush tools and select the appropriate size. I have selected 338px. The size of the brush depends upon you. Select the tools in such size thus you can easily work. You may also change the size while working according to your necessity. Make sure that ‘Opacity’ is selected 100%.
Step 5: White as Foreground Color
From the color panel, select white color for the foreground. If you look towards the screenshot beneath of this text, then you will see that white is selected.
Step 6: Clear
Now if you have remembered the first image then obviously you know which portion of the image was clear. Using the bush tools bring out that part, that means the logo of the mouse and its surrounding. After doing this, you will find that the wheel of the mouse and the logo is clear.
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Step 7: Follow Up
Now select the second layer and then follow step 3-5 and using brush tools clear the area of the second image as shown below on the screenshot. After finishing it, do the same for the third layer.
Step 8: Cropping
Now we will select the ‘Cropping Tools’ and crop the required portion from the whole image. While cropping the image finally, you may follow the rule of thirds also.
Step 9: Saving
Now click ‘File’ and select ‘Save As.’ Then save your image in your desired location. But before clicking ‘Ok’ please select the format you want to get your image finally. It’s better to select JPEG format after you have finished editing.
Step 10: Watch Video
Now you may follow the video tutorial given below for getting further confirmation of all the steps done here. You can relate all your work by following the video. I hope both video and this article going to help you in making a very good photo with extended depth of filed.
The last Words
In many of the photographs, you will try to focus on multiple points which means you may want to increase the depth of filed and make it an extended depth of field. So no worries from now about the limitation of your camera and lens.
I believe that the steps that have been shared and the linked video with the article will surely help you to get the extended depth of field. For understanding easily please see all the steps of the article and then watch the video once. Once you learn it, you will be able to make many photos with extended depth of filed.