Tutorial – Focus Stacking

So, long time since I have been around, but finally a cool tutorial – Focus Stacking. I actually got the idea from a great video from Greg Snell, thanks Greg for giving me an idea of what to learn while staying inside during a quarentine in Ecuador.

So I got my camera and took some photos, following Greg’s tutorial. And these are the results.

Watch the video for the full instructions, but you will need to learn how to change to focus on the camera and take various photos of the same subject without moving the camera.

Once you have done that you can add the photos to lightroom and edit until your hearts content.

Then select all the photos and open as layers in photoshop. Once you have them all open in photoshop go to edit – auto align layers, this opens a box, choose perspective and also geometric distortion.

Next without making any changes, choose edit – auto blend layers and make sure stack images is selected as well as the two boxes below, make sure these are selected.

Once this has been completed you can then flatten the image and save and this will take you back into lightroom.

In the photo of the wood stack and volcano Chimborazo I also edited out the cement pile which is to the left of the woodstack.

Here are some of the photos I took for this tutorial. With the finished edit also.

Here are some of the photos I took for this tutorial. With the finished edit also.

Chimborazo Volcano – The highest point from the center of the earth to the sun – Ecuador

This place is unique, cold, icy cold, with the wind blowing like you cannot imagine, and an altitude that leaves you breathless, but the views and the hike are so very impresive.

The volcano is officially inactive but studies show that there may be an eruption in the future. We didn’t climb to the summit, there is no way I am interested in doing this, we started at the car park at the Carrel hut (4850m) and hiked to the second hut, Whymper Hut at 5000 m and then on the to the Laguna Condor Cocha at 5100m above sea level.

The Volcano which is a nature reserve is about 2 hours drive from home, so we got up early one morning with the hope that the weather would be good. We had no idea how good it would be.

As we drove along the clouds cleared to show us the majestic Chimborazo.
The car seems so small in comparison.
Vicuña on the side of the road.
A small groups of vicuñas shadowed by the volcano.

All of the above photos were taken from the road side, it just goes to show the beauty of the area.

At the entrance to the park
Driving up to the Carrol Hut at 4850 masl
A memorial close to the Carrol Hut.

So we haven {t even started walking yet and we are taken away with the views. The weather is just perfect, but so, so cold, we had no idea that we were going to take on this walk up to the Whymper Hut at 5000m and I would have liked some better clothing for this. But… was no way we were going to not do it. We can warm up later. So, off we go.

If you look closely, you can see the Whymper Hut.
Slowly the hut is getting closer.
Finnlay at the Whymper Hut

Inside ther hut there are some basic facilities and a most welcoming hot chocolate which was delicious. It is the highest altitude I have had a hot chocolate in my life.

After a break we continue the hiking, now going on up to 5100m to the Laguna Condor Cocha.

Wifi- Really? At this altitude and distance from everything, I have no idea if it worked or not.

The short hike to the Laguna Condor Cocha was not so difficult or very far. With some more stunning views.

Laguna Condor Cocha at 5100masl

This was the highest you are allowed without an official guide for the summit. The lagoon was half frozen, beautiful and eerie.

From here we started the walk back down, enjoying the views we didn’t see when we walked up. The legs are knees were struggling a little during the return.

The Carrol Hut from above.

And that was the end of the day trip. Back to the car and back home, tired but exhilarated. Below is a video I did from the trip.

Thanks for reading.

Bulls in Ecuador

This is something that is very popular in the smaller towns during their local annual festivities. They corner off a small area with wooden posts and people drive their vans, trucks and sometimes even huge 18 wheelers for people to view the bulls from. Here are some photos from one of the local towns close to me during their annual festivities. Young men go into the arena and try to fight with the bull. No bulls are hurt at all.

Waaiting the show from the side
Doing a good job at bullfighting
or being just plain stupid
Doing a good job
Just running around
Nio bull or person was hurt while making this photo

Cotopaxi peeking out

Ecuador is full of legends about the volcanoes, in this case the Cotopaxi is one of them. The legend says that the Cotopaxi was in love with the Ilinizas north, who was already married to the Ilinizas south. The Rumiñahui volcano was friends with the Ilinizas south and told him of the adventure his wife was having, this destroyed the Corazon Volcano, who is the son of the Ilinizas , who cried to much the Quilotoa lagoon was formed. This is why the Cotopaxi is covered in clouds most of the time as he is ashamed of damaging the relationship between the Ilinizas north and south.