Ingenious flatbed scanner hack helps create greater depth of field in macro photos


posted Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at 5:52 PM EDT


One of the most challenging things with macro photography is getting a broad depth of field around your subject. Focus too closely on the foreground and the background is out of focus and vice versa.

A typical solution is to capture several images while moving the camera closer with each shot. You then combine all the photos of varying distances with software to create an image with wide overall sharpness. 

The problem with this is that it's difficult to manually move the camera at such incremental distances. Photographer David Hunt has come up with a rather ingenious solution to this problem, which involves mounting a camera onto a hacked flatbed scanner.

With the camera, in this case a Canon EOS 5D Mark II, in place, the stepper motor in the repurposed scanner (upper right) moves the rig forward step by step while images are fired off via remote shutter release. Hunt then combines all of these shots using free CombineZ software, and voilà, he has created a stacked macro image that's sharp from the front to the back of the subject.

Check out a sample result below and watch the video at the bottom of this page, which shows the hacked scanner in action.


There's also tons more detail on how Hunt did it on his blog.

(Via Hack A Day)

(Thanks Phil!)