More image stacking stuff.

I’m working on a skill share powerpoint to share image stacking, how I learned it and how I do it. (For stuff I’ve already posted about this, see this post). This post will include additional references on image stacking, focusing on star trail style stacking and images by other photographers.

Astrophotography: Star Photo Stacking by PKM (instructable)

I used Lincoln Harrison’s tutorials when building my own stacked images. I linked to that tutorial in the first post. His flickr is here and has even more amazing images.
From Petapixel:

Photographer Lincoln Harrison captures jaw-dropping photographs of star trails. Shooting from the Australian outback, he spends up to 15 hours creating each image of the night sky. Shooting with a Nikon D7000, Nikon D3100, and a wide assortment of lenses, Harrison captures a large number of exposures of the foreground and stars separately. He then combines the images (sometimes hundreds of them) into amazing photographs showing the sky dominated by colorful star trails.

Further browsing Petapixel turned up photographer Ben Canales (see Zhang’s Petapixel article on him here) who also does stacks of stars. His website is here and a tutorial video he did about his workflow is here.

Example of Grant Kaye’s star trail photography can be found here.

Photoshop image stacking

This technique can be used in a lot of ways to communicate fracture, motion, time lapse and distortion from multiple images into a single image. Some examples:


Smeared Skies made from hundreds of stacked photographs by Matt Molloy


(Matt Molloy)
Time Collapse: How time-lapse photography led to turning stacks of frames into a single image
Molloy talks about his process with stacking. He uses an automated script to stack his photos (called advanced stacker (more about advanced stacker here) and applies lightening techniques usually employed with star trail photography like the tutorial here talks about. See photos here and here

I found this process while trying to remember something I wrote about in response reading [Lucy Soutter, “The Collapsed Archive: Idris Khan,” review of Idris Khan at Victoria Miro Gallery, London, Source, no. 49 (Winter 2006): 46-47.] (I wrote about this here in August 2011. I guess this imagery really stayed with me. was also, very specifically thinking about Bernd and Hilla Becher’s typologies that Khan collapsed into a single image.

Every… Bernd And Hilla Becher Gable Side Houses 2004
Photogrphic print 208 x 160 cm

Since 1959 Bernd and Hilla Becher have been photographing industrial structures that exemplify modernist engineering, such as gas reservoirs and water towers. Their photogrphs are often presented in groups of similar design; their repreated images make these everyday buildings seem stragely imposing and alien. Idris khan’s Every… Bernd And Gilla Becher series appropriates the Bechers’ imagery and compiles their collections into sing super-images. Inthis piece, multiple images of American-single gabled houses are digitally layered and super-imposed giving the effect of an impressionistic drawing or blurred film still. (source)


<p align right="Every… Bernd And Hilla Becher Prison Type Gasholders 2004
Photographic print 208 x 160cm

The structure in the Bechers’ original photographs are almost identical, though in Khan’s hands the images’ contrast and opacity is adjusted to ensure each layer can be seen and has presence. Though Kahn works in mechanised media and his images are of industrial subjects, their effect is of a soft ethereal energy. They exude a transfixing spiritual quality in their densely compacted details and ghostly outlines. … Prison Type Gasholders conveys a sense of time depiicted in motion, as if transporting the old building, in its obsolete black and white format, into the extreme future. (source)</a

Every… Bernd And Hilla Becher Spherical type Gasholders 2004
Photographic print 208 x 160cm

The Bechers took their photos as a means to document a disappearing tradition;
by grouping them according to ‘typology’ the buildings’ designs function like archetypal symbols or an architectural language. Through Khan’s translucent aggregations, structures such as ….Spherical Type Gasholders lose their commanding simplicity and rigid formalism and descend into fractured and gestural blurs. Through his photographs Khan compresses the timelind of repetition into indivisible subsuming moments and creates a poetic mutability from the fixed codes of history. (source)</a