This is the image I had in mind when I started the Miami Taxi Meter project. Shot with a Canon Rebel T5 and run through Helicon Focus. Additional editing with Adobe Elements and Paint Shop Pro X.

I know some of my readers use Helicon Focus also. It’s fairly common when rendering your stack of photos with the program to get some artifacts here and there best described as “fuzzy weird halos”. There’s a lot of chatter on the net that this is a result of not taking enough images at various focal lengths and “missing” one of the focal planes. The conventional wisdom being that if more shots had been taken, the halos wouldn’t have appeared.

I really don’t think this is the case. Rather I believe the cause is the program algorithm in general. A deep dive into their help section admits as much. The good news is that the touch up is fairly simple once you understand how to do it. Save all of your base photos (the stack shot at various focal lengths) in a separate folder and don’t delete them. Render the stack as always. If you get a halo, go back and search through your original photos. One of them will have the problem area in perfect focus. Just use your selection tool and outline the “good area” from your original photo and copy/paste it into your rendered image. Quick, simple, problem solved.