View Full Version : Help with stacking 4 images (from Special Olympics)

02-03-2015, 09:35 PM
I have never been good at stacking (or much else in PS). I want to stack these 4 images, showing the running in four poses in one frame.

I am thinking the frame is too small since I shot it in portrait and not landscape.

Feel free to do it yourself, you can get the large size images on the link.

https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8643/16439348965_82a78433c2_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/r3FXH8)stack4 (https://flic.kr/p/r3FXH8) by Theantiquetiger (https://www.flickr.com/people/68094784@N03/), on Flickr

https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8620/16253096569_c21c90a637_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/qLenmV)stack3 (https://flic.kr/p/qLenmV) by Theantiquetiger (https://www.flickr.com/people/68094784@N03/), on Flickr

https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8642/16413374826_0d95ffb103_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/r1oQv9)stack2 (https://flic.kr/p/r1oQv9) by Theantiquetiger (https://www.flickr.com/people/68094784@N03/), on Flickr

https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8585/15816834924_0111b69b76_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/q6FpYq)stack1 (https://flic.kr/p/q6FpYq) by Theantiquetiger (https://www.flickr.com/people/68094784@N03/), on Flickr

https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7400/16439233212_745679040c_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/r3Fnio)stack5 (https://flic.kr/p/r3Fnio) by Theantiquetiger (https://www.flickr.com/people/68094784@N03/), on Flickr

02-03-2015, 10:28 PM
This would not lend itself to stacking... that would be something you would do if you had the exact same background and had the person moving through the frame. A Photoshop expert might be able to build a single background from that but it would take a long, long time.

The best solution here, IMHO, is a quadtych. If you use LightRoom you can do something like that through the print module... here's a tutorial on how to do it: Creating a Triptych in Lightroom - Digital Photography School (http://digital-photography-school.com/creating-a-triptych-in-lightroom/)

02-03-2015, 10:33 PM
Thanks for the link Iggy. I do realize these images are not the best, very soft in his face, but I may try your suggestion with some others.

I didn't think it could be done.

02-03-2015, 11:03 PM
Well, you could probably do it with the bottom three as the background is mostly the same. But since he's always centred in the frame he would overlap himself more than seeing multiple "people" on the background and so I don't think it would work well. Your best bet would have been a wider shot with the camera on a tripod so the background doesn't change and then take 3 or 4 shots as he moves through the frame.

As for the technical issues, while important, not nearly as important as capturing the moment. He'll probably love having some photos of the event and while we, as photographers, notice the technical bits, he likely won't give a hoot about it.

02-03-2015, 11:31 PM
I have done a bit of stacking in the past and agree with Iggy that there is insufficient separation between them. It is best to keep the camera in a static position (and further away) so the persons placement in the frame varies more (i.e. more time between images) to be effective.

Having said that, I love a challenge and will have a play when I get home from work tonight. I don't expect to get anything usable, but you will be the first to know if I do.

02-04-2015, 12:10 AM
What about a sort compositing to put the boy in the photo several times? Not sure of the arrangement but the transparency could also be varied so you could stack him a bit on top of himself if that makes any sense?

02-04-2015, 12:22 AM
I added a fifth image to the original post that may help. It is of him in landscape at the starting line

02-04-2015, 04:18 AM
It was hard to match the backgrounds but this is just a 10 minute play. These are low resolution. If you like I can put the psd files in dropbox, so you have a high resolution version and you can also see the layers and the build up of the images.



02-04-2015, 04:27 AM
In future if you wish to try this again, it is much easier if the camera angle and settings don't change. There were differing apertures and focal lengths with these, and that made the background matching very difficult for a quick edit

02-04-2015, 10:14 AM
Wow! I'm impressed you could put together what you had. Nice PS skills!

02-04-2015, 05:29 PM
Wow! I'm impressed you could put together what you had. Nice PS skills!

Thanks Iggy, you are too kind, but I can honestly say (and with no false modesty) it was very simple and PS did all the work. All I did was paint out some layer masks. It literally did take 10 mins to do both of these, and most of that was playing with the exposure of the "start" shot to try to get it to match. I eventually decided not to get too fussed about it as the backgrounds were also not matching (although thinking about it afterward I think a selective Gaussian blur would probably disguise that as well)

02-04-2015, 08:28 PM
These are super nice, especially the first one, it is flawless. I have been invited to shoot a state level Special Olympic indoor track and field meet in about an month. I will bring my tripod and try to grab some and try to edit myself. The thing is, I have no clue where to start other than cut and pasting the runner, but I think it would look horrible.

02-04-2015, 09:20 PM
You don't necessarily need a tripod, just don't change exposure settings or focal length and either ensure overlap of the edges of images or be reasonably steady with camera angle. PS does a good job of aligning the images (remember it lines up panoramas the same way). Leaving space between the differing versions of the subject also helps.

I am happy to lead you through it (to the best of my ability) at the time. If you are very patient with me and we can coordinate times, maybe even an IM or Skype session or something (it is a good excuse for me to join the 21st century and set up a Skype account).

I would suggest you have a couple of practice runs before the main event if you decide it is something you wish to pursue. If you are not familiar with layers and layer masks in PS I suggest you become familiar with these first. After that it is really easy

02-04-2015, 11:14 PM
I used a demo GotoMeeting account last night to give someone a tutorial on Lightroom. You can actually take control of the mouse and keyboard remotely while you are doing a video chat. I just went to check pricing plans and they offer a free plan for meetings of 3 people or less. - https://free.gotomeeting.com/

02-10-2015, 11:29 PM
Not sure if this is what you had in mind. I enlarged the canvas and extended the track area and used layer masks. Added slight shadows.


02-10-2015, 11:36 PM
Good job Ed

02-11-2015, 12:21 AM
Thats amazing Ed!!!!