Trip o d
We need to shoot a series of shots in
perfect alignment, so the camera needs to
stay still. As such, a sturdy tripod is crucial.
We used a gimbal head, which has a handy
sliding tripod plate, allowing us to shift the
camera between sets for a macro panorama.
You’ll need a computer with Helicon
Focus and Helicon Remote installed
(download a free 30-day trial from
We can use Helicon Remote to set the closest
and farthest point of focus, then set it to shift
the focus point between frames.
This project is best done indoors, as
a gust of wind can cause the flower to shift
position. Window light is ideal for macro
photography, as it gives us lovely soft,
diffused, illumination that gently reveals
the textures and details in the flowers.
A flower makes for a wonderful
subject for this kind of project, but you could
use this technique on anything you like.
Whatever object you choose, make sure it’s
securely fastened in place, as subject
movement – even tiny vibrations – can spoil
the focus stack.
We need to attach our camera to a
laptop or computer with a USB cable (or use
Wi-Fi, if your camera has this option). This
way, we can use the Helicon Remote app to
control the camera. Most Nikon cameras are
supplied with a USB cable for this purpose.
Camera and lens
A macro lens is essential for close-up
work, allowing us to capture small subjects at
a 1:1 ratio (meaning the object is projected at
life-size on the camera’s sensor). As for
camera settings, it’s best to use a manual
exposure, so it stays consistent throughout.
We’re at 0.6 secs, f/11, ISO200.
SHOOT A FOCUS STACK
WITH HELICON REMOTE