I would like to take a portrait with a 50mm lens, where both the subject and the background are sharp. The usual way to do this would be to either switch to a wide-angle lens or to dial-down the aperture, but I'm wondering if this is possible with focus stacking? The approximate workflow would look like this:

  1. Take a picture of the person from a tripod
  2. Have the person quickly step out of the frame
  3. Take a picture of the background
  4. Merge the photos in post-processing - how to do this?

I'm looking for a way to do step 4 automatically, rather than through painstaking post-processing work in Photoshop. I presume this should be possible with modern software.

  • \$\begingroup\$ How "Automatic" are you seeking? "Select both images and click one button" automatic, or "layer the photos and use a few tools with a few minutes of cleanup" kind of 'automatic'? \$\endgroup\$ Apr 25, 2019 at 18:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ Possible answer here. Although some cameras can also do it automatically, too... \$\endgroup\$
    – twalberg
    Apr 25, 2019 at 18:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @TheLuckless at most 2-3 minutes per picture would be nice \$\endgroup\$ Apr 25, 2019 at 18:59

1 Answer 1


Adobe had a good blog which shows how to do this in Photoshop here.


  • take multiple photos with different areas in focus
  • import photos as layers to one image
  • auto align layers
  • auto blend layers
  • adjust masks, tone, color, etc to your liking.

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