It’s as easy as 1-2-3:

1. Macro-Stacking for better focus
2. Auto Align from Adobe Bridge to Photoshop
3. Nik Silver Effex Pro for the edgy black and white

This is a composite image. I used my Macro Extension Tubes to take two shots of a small little pink sticky geranium (about 1 inch in diameter… see originals below).  I did not use a tripod, but I would recommend that you do!  I was able to use the auto-align feature in Photoshop to stack these two images and then I masked the sharpest details from each image. When you do macro photography, it is difficult to get the depth of field you want. I wanted part of the stem sharp, as well as the stamen inside the flower. So to accomplish this, I took two different images with the focus on different parts of the flower.

Then from Adobe Bridge I selected both images and went to Tools > Photoshop > Load Files into Photoshop Layers. Then I selected both layers once they opened up in Photoshop and hit Edit > Auto Align. This takes care of my camera movement and aligns the features in the image so the are stacked on top of each other. Next I added a mask to bring out the sharpest parts of each layer. I had to crop the composite image because the edges were not quite aligned, due to the fact that I took these images without a tripod (bad form on my part 🙂  It is nice to know you can correct for these little foopahs in Photoshop. This is why it is equally important to be a good photographer and skilled image editor. Finally, I used Nik Silver Effex Pro to get the black and white contrasty image you see here.

Click image to see detail larger – What do you think of this process?

Sticky Geranium - Caryn Esplin - Macro Stacking - Nik Silver Effex

Sticky Geranium - Caryn Esplin - 1. Macro Stacking - 2. Auto-align layers - 3.Nik Silver Effex

Pink Sticky Geranium - Caryn Esplin - Macro Stacking - Nik Silver Effex

ORIGINAL IMAGES with different focus points - Sticky Geranium - Caryn Esplin - Macro Stacking