How to Use Image Stacking for 100 Megapixel Cityscapes

Stacking your images in Photoshop has several benefits. First, stacking gives you the ability to produce ultra-high resolution megapixel monsters such as this 100 megapixel image that photographer Michael Ver Sprill produced:

The technique involves allowing the camera to move slightly in between shots. Wait, what? Move in between shots? Yes. According to Sprill, this movement allows the camera sensor to process the different parts of the image better. Sprill actually knocked the camera after each shot to mimic movement you would associate with shooting hand held.

These are the steps in Photoshop that you need to repeat to produce an uber-high resolution photo.

1. Select the batch of photos and open them in Photoshop as layers.

upscaling an image

Open the photos as layers.

2. Auto-align the images. Select all the photos, go to Edit > Auto-Align Layers > Click OK on the Options window. If there are a few images that don’t line up, simply delete them.

3. Click on Image > Image Size. Ensure that the Resample button is checked and Nearest Neighbor (Hard Edges) is selected. Then select the image height and width, where you can enter a percentage for the new image size up to a maximum of 200 percent.

how to upscale an image in photoshop

Select a resize option.

Depending on the original file size, your new file size can really shoot up.

4. Right-click on all the images and choose Convert to Smart Objects.

5. Go to Layer > Smart Object > Stack Mode > Mean. This will average your photos together.

increasing an image size in photoshop

Average your photos from Stack Mode.

Voila! You have just created a large super resolution image out of your individual lower resolution captures.

normal vs ultra megapixel image

High Resolution Close-Up

You can use this technique to produce high resolution landscape images, which can be sold as stock photos.

Give this method a try and let us know how it goes!

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One response to “How to Use Image Stacking for 100 Megapixel Cityscapes”

  1. Tim says:

    You want to upscale before aligning, otherwise the sub-pixel alignment is lost.

    NASA have been doing it for years – called the Drizzle algorithm.

    You can combine it with HDR as well. If anything, hand held HDR is the ultimate walk-around high-quality workflow.

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