Next time you are about to commission product photography, and especially if this is watch or jewellery photography, you will come across one term that, if, it’s not explained to you in plain English, can leave you a little fuzzy headed!

This is not because it’s a complex idea to grasp, it’s more because most photographers and photography studios fail to explain it in clear and simple terms.

We, here at Kalory Photo & Video, are well versed in the necessary tech know-how to help you create beautiful product photographs, but we are also keenly aware that the industry terms are just that, jargon that does not help you the client make the right decision when you are about to commission new photography.

Hence, we thought we would just write a short article just about that: focus staking images (or in layman’s terms, the parts of the image will be in focus and those that will be out of focus)!

We will show you examples along the way so that it becomes a lot clearer!

Focus stacking to put it simply is the technique photographers use to ensure that your product, for example, a watch or jewellery piece is completely sharp from back to front & top to bottom.  This is especially relevant when objects are not straight facing the camera.

We would take a number of images, ranging from 5 to up to 30 + which are sandwiched together and then retouched to produce the final image.  This besides being a technically precision craft, is also time-consuming and the resulting image needs a lot more retouching. 

  • Below is an image where only the front is in focus, the rest is out of focus and hence, it is not sharp.  This is quite a basic level of photography and this is reflected in the quality and cost to you.
Jewelry photographer studio
  • In this second image, the sharpness is a littler greater, as you see it has a greater form and shape compared to the one above.  This is where about 4 to 5 images might be used to create the final image.
MEDIUM Level of focus stacking examples of photography
  • In this third image, the product is sharp from top to bottom, left to right.  This is where up to a dozen or more images are used to create this one final image.  As you can imagine, there is a lot more time spent on this final shot, but the result is also very different from the first photograph.
Full level of focus stacking of photography

Based on these three simple examples, you can see that focus stacking is crucial in creating a great final image. It is a very easy concept to understand when referenced with examples. 

Once you know this, you can make an informed decision as to what level you need for your products and go forward with that.

At Kalory Photo & Video, we are keenly aware that the client can only make an informed decision once they know the pros and cons of any specific given parameters. We always make sure that before you commit to anything, a free test shoot is offered so that you can make the right decision.

One of our upcoming blog post will explain why we feel that a free test shoot is something you should grab with two hands!

Franck Jehanne