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Master the Art of ‘Effortless’ Luminar Neo Focus Stacking

Take your images to jaw-dropping heights with Luminar Neo focus stacking? Brace yourself for a thrilling journey into the world of photography magic! In this article, we will reveal the hidden potential of Luminar Neo’s remarkable focus stacking features. From Auto Alignment and chromatic aberration reduction, we’ll also discuss Neo other extensions to help you create stunning, one-of-a-kind masterpieces. Get ready to unleash your creative prowess – it’s time to dive into the captivating world of Luminar Neo focus stacking!

Table of Contents

What is focus stacking?

Focus Stacking is a method where you merge multiple images with slightly different focus points to create a greater depth of field. Imagine taking a series of photos of an insect or mushrooms, with each photo on a different focal plane. By merging these images, you create one highly detailed sharply in focus photo. This technique is particularly useful in macro and product photography, making your photos pop with detail.

Get that macro shot right with focus stacking

Imagine taking flawless macro photos at any aperture, capturing every tiny detail as the world freezes for your camera. Shooting small subjects can be quite challenging. However, with Focus Stacking in Luminar Neo, you’ll find it so easy to achieve precise focus that you’ll wonder how you ever did it before. Neo can blend up to 100 photos with ease. No more juggling focuses for each photo – let the software’s AI algorithm select the sharpest parts to deliver stunning images.

Tack sharp though and though

With Luminar Neo’s Focus Stacking feature, you can effortlessly eliminate the hassle of manually merging images that have different focal points. The result? You get photos that are sharp from the foreground to the background – a feature that truly enhances my landscape and macro photography.

Think of it like this – you’ve clicked several photos of the same scene, each with a different focus point. Now, instead of spending hours in post-production, Luminar Neo does it all for you in just a few clicks!

How to do focus stacking in Luminar Neo?

Step One

Importing photos to Luminar Neo is easy! Here’s a simple step-by-step guide:

  • Launch Luminar Neo: Open the Luminar Neo software on your computer.
  • Create a New Catalog (Optional): If it’s your first time using Luminar Neo, you may need to create a new Catalog to organize your photos. Follow the prompts to set up a new Catalog.
  • Choose “Import”: Look for the “Import” button or option within Luminar Neo. It’s usually located at the top or in the sidebar.
  • Select Your Photos: Navigate to the folder on your computer where your photos are stored. Choose the images you want to import into Luminar Neo.
  • Click “Import”: Once you’ve selected the desired photos, click the “Import” button to start the process.
  • Wait for Import: Luminar Neo will import the selected photos into the Catalog. The time it takes depends on the number and size of the photos.

You can skip this step if you use Adobe Lightroom.

Step two

Press and hold the Ctrl + A key on Windows or Command + A on Mac to quickly select all the photos in a folder. Then, simply drag and drop them into the Focus Stacking window located on the right-hand side. A practical tip: use the shift key to select the first and last image in a series to quickly highlight all. Remember, you can scroll through your images or remove any unnecessary ones at this stage.

Step three

The third step in focus stacking with Luminar Neo involves choosing your settings.

  • Locate and click the cog icon in the Focus Stacking window’s right-hand corner, hence accessing your settings.
  • Select Auto Alignment; this ensures your images align correctly.
  • Opt for Chromatic Aberration Reduction to balance high contrast in your photos, especially between highlights and shadows.

Remember, the correct settings can thoroughly enhance your images, revealing details while maintaining a natural look.

Step four finishing touches

Applying the finishing touches to your focus-stacked images in Luminar Neo is key to elevating your photographs to the next level. Here’s a quick guide to do it effectively:

  • Locate your final stacked image in the Focus Stacking folder, found at the left-hand pane.
  • An easy way to access it is to double-click the image, and then proceed to the Presets or Edit tab.
  • Once opened, use the brilliant tool set of Luminar Neo to fine-tune adjustments like warmth, balance, and brilliance.

Remember, the right finishing touches can reveal incredible detail while maintaining the natural appeal of your images.

Focus stacking from Adobe Lightroom

  • Open Adobe Lightroom and select the images you want to focus stack.
  • Right-click on the selected images and choose “Edit In” > “Luminar Neo” (ensure Luminar Neo is installed as a plugin).
  • Alternately select File > Export > Luminar Neo Focus Stack
  • Adjust the blending settings if needed, and click “Apply” to complete the focus stacking process.
  • Finish your editing in Luminar Neo and save the changes.
  • The edited focus-stacked image will be automatically added to your Lightroom Catalog.

Now you’ve effortlessly performed focus stacking in Luminar Neo using your Adobe Lightroom images!

Example of luminar Neo focus tacking in Adobe Lightroom

Tips to master the art of ‘effortless’ focus stacking

1. Take multiple shots to create the stack

Focus stacking might sound a bit complicated, but it’s actually quite simple once you get the hang of it. Here’s how to do it step by step:

  • Choose a subject: Pick something interesting to photograph, like a flower, an insect, or an object with intricate details.
  • Set up your camera: Place your camera on a stable surface or use a tripod to keep it steady. This helps avoid blurry images.
  • Adjust your settings: I prefer to use Aperture Priority mode (often marked as “A” or “Av” on the mode dial). This lets you control the depth of field. However, sometimes I have to switch to manual. If you are having difficulty, you might also want to try Auto ISO.
  • Use a small aperture: In Aperture Priority mode, select a small aperture (a higher f-number like f/8, f/11, or higher). This increases the depth of field, making more of your subject sharp.
  • Pick your starting point. I normally start at the close point I want in focus and work through the photo. Make sure it’s sharp and in focus.
  • Take the first photo: Press the shutter button to capture the first image. This will be your starting point for focus stacking.
  • Adjust the focus: Move the focus point slightly deeper into your subject by turning the focus ring on your lens or using your camera’s focus controls.
  • Take more photos: Capture multiple images, each with a slightly different focus point, moving deeper into your subject with each shot. Aim to get around 5 to 10 images, depending on the depth you want.

Remember, the more photos stacked, the longer it takes, but the result is a razor-sharp image worth the wait!

Darn! You Nikon – Some cameras have an option built-in for focus stacking. If your camera does, please remember to check if it produces a RAW of Jpeg image as the final result.

2. Use a macro lens for closer shots

They’re not necessary, but I would highly recommend a macro lens. Using a macro lens for focus stacking opens up a whole new world of incredible close-up photography! When you want to capture tiny subjects, like bugs, flowers, or small objects, a macro lens becomes your secret weapon. Here’s why and how it works:

  • Get super close: A macro lens lets you get really, really close to your subject. You’ll see amazing details that your regular lens can’t capture. It’s like discovering a hidden universe of beauty!
  • Shallow depth of field: The depth of field gets shallower as you go closer to your subject. This means only a small part of your subject will be in focus. Hence, the reason why we are focus stacking.

With a macro lens and focus stacking, you’ll reveal the hidden beauty of the tiniest wonders in nature and objects, making your photography truly mesmerizing!

Advantages of using Luminar Neo focus stacking extension

luminar Neo focus stacking

1. Increased speed and ease of use

If you’re new to the world of photo editing, one can’t ignore the capabilities of Luminar Neo. Not only has it revolutionized post processing, but its focus stacking extension is unrivalled.

Luminar Neo greatly simplifies focus stacking by allowing you to stack up to 100 photos and seamlessly blend them for maximum depth and details. No longer do you need to painstakingly align and mix images manually. Its AI algorithms do all the heavy lifting, effortlessly merging multiple photos.

Luminar Neo’s blend of intuitive design and powerful AI tools means users can achieve professional results with minimal effort and time, truly a game changer for focus stacking.

2. Enhanced image editing capabilities

Through Neo’s advanced AI capabilities, this software packs an impressive combination of power and precision. With Focus Stacking, you can combat the common issue of mis-focus. The AI-driven tools don’t stop there; from AI Noise removal to SuperSharp AI, these intuitive features help streamline your editing process.

3. Improved auto alignment feature

The Auto Alignment feature in Luminar Neo’s Focus Stacking extension utilizes cutting-edge AI technology, delivering precision, and saving you time.

Its advantages are numerous. For starters, it ensures seamless alignment of multiple photographs. This is especially beneficial when dealing with images that have a mixture of highlights and shadows. Auto Alignment distinguishes these contrasts and adjusts accordingly, ensuring your final image is harmonized.

  • Top tip: turn on the Chromatic Aberration Reduction alongside Auto Alignment. This will ensure any lens distortion in raw files is corrected, leaving every detail of your image popping.
  • Second tip: select a Reference Image from the settings for best alignment results, allowing the software to produce the most balanced image.

4. Improved focus stacking extension

Shooting vivid landscapes or intricate macro photography? You can now capture every detail. The petal on a flower or a majesty of distant mountains – Focus Stacking ensures an evenly distributed focus throughout your image.

As an added bonus, your stacked image will be delivered in Tiff format, allowing you to further refine the results as per your preference.

5. Improved artificial intelligence algorithms

Neo, has made a giant leap with improved AI algorithms! These enhancements, especially SuperSharp AI, allow you to work wonders with focus stacking. Unlike traditional sharpening, SuperSharp AI goes beyond simple edge contrast. It tackles issues like poor focus and motion blur head-on, redefining sharpness across your entire photo.

With recent upgrades, SuperSharp AI now includes a unique Motion Blur correction and a Face Enhancer. These thoughtful enhancements further streamline your focus-stacking process. Despite some shortcomings compared to Topaz Sharpen AI, SuperSharp AI blends into your Luminar Neo workflow beautifully, making it a worthy addition.

With Luminar Neo’s AI-driven features, focus stacking becomes less of a chore and more of a breeze, helping you achieve crystal-clear images with ease.

6. Neo’s presets, filters, and effects

Breathe life into your images once the focus stacking is complete. Whether tweaking tonal contrasts, controlling light and shadow, or refining colour and structure. Neo’s seamless blending of cutting-edge technology tailored to elevate your photos. Intrigued? You should be!

Features that will revolutionize your photo editing experience include:

  • Tons of presets
  • Six distinct controls for tonal contrasts
  • An AI-powered tool for over a dozen adjustments
  • Advanced structure, contrast, and balance improvements
  • HDR merge and splendid colour enhancement
  • AI-based noise removal for detail recovery

Conclusion: Is Luminar Neo the best tool for focus stacking?

If you’re a photography freak like me, then you’ll definitely love the ease of using Luminar Neo focus stacking extension. This incredible extension simplifies and automates various tasks like alignment, correcting lens and chromatic aberrations. This streamlines the focus stacking process, leaving you more time to do what you love. Keep shooting.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, you can do focus stacking in Luminar Neo. It allows you to combine multiple images with different focus points to achieve a fully sharp and detailed final result.

To achieve focus stacking, set your camera to aperture priority mode, choose a small aperture (e.g., f/8 to f/16), and manually focus on the nearest subject. Capture multiple shots with different focus points and blend them in Luminiar Neo to achieve sharpness in the photo 

Focus stacking software is require for sharp, detailed images in macro photography. It combines multiple shots with different focus points into one fully focused image, ensuring every tiny detail is crystal clear. 

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