Yesterday Adrian was experimenting with a commercial program which combines a set of photos of the same subject but with different focus points. The idea being to make a resultant photo where everything is in focus. Very useful for macro shots where the depth of field is very shallow. See his post HERE. Without Adrian's blog I would never have know that such programs existed.
That caught my imagination so I decided to see what could be done for free! After a hour searching and looking at various options I eventually found a great free (released under the GNU Public License) program - CombineZP - and tried it out. My simple test involved placing five batteries at different distances from the camera and taking five shots each with one of the cells in sharp focus. Point CombineZP at a folder on the PC which contains the five shots, tell it to Align and Balance them and then tell the program to 'Do Stack' - result, all in focus on one photo.
From top to bottom, the first and last of the five individual photos and finally the result of stacking / piling them with CombineZP. Looks a handy utility to have for still subjects where it is hard or impossible to get everything in focus with one shot. CombineZP site is HERE.