The Power of Focus

Spicy Coppa on Butcher Paper — “normal” shot at f/11, with a Nikon 105mm macro lens

I've been focus-stacking recently and really enjoying the resulting clarity. Over and above providing more visual detail, focus-stacked photographs have a completely different emotional tone than photographs in which the background is allowed to go soft.

This difference really jumped out at me in this recent shot of slices of spicy coppa (thank you, Marché Provisions) on butcher paper.

I don't dislike the out-of-focus background--not at all. It just feels like it was shot in a whole different world. A photo that goes soft feels a little sentimental, maybe, while the focus-stacked imaged is arguably more dramatic.

Spicy Coppa on Butcher Paper - the final focus-stacked image, 22 separate photographs