Incredible Focus Stacked Time-Lapse Video of Coral Made Up of 150K RAW Frames

If you’re ready to have your mind blown for the next three and a half minutes, go ahead and press play. And keep in mind that the masterpiece your eyes are about to take in was anything but an easy task.

Created by videographer Daniel Stoupin from 150,000 22-megapixel RAW exposures, he put together a 4K masterpiece (despite Vimeo only showing it as 1080p).

That many photos don’t come without some trouble though. Stoupin notes his beloved 7D took a dirt nap pretty early on from the demanding schedule of snapshots, which is almost what happened to Stoupin after the mind-numbing THREE WEEKS it took his poor little laptop to continually process all of the high-res shots.


Why so many images, you may ask? Because each frame of the video consists of 3-12 focused-stacked stills. And when focus stacking that many 22-megapixel RAW files, every single frame can take as long as ten minutes to process.

In addition to the Canon 7D that bit the dust, the video was created using a 5DMIII, an MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5x Macro, a Cognisys StackShot for focus stacking, three different lighting rigs and a collection of computers running Photoshop CS6, Zerene Stacker, Helicon Focus and Sony Vegas.

It took Stoupin approximately three months to produce each individual minute of the video from beginning to end, but it’s safe to say that the nine-month ordeal was worth it. The results defy proper description and the macro approach gives us a look at some incredible creatures in a way we would otherwise never see.

(via Imaging Resource)

  • Derricklytle

    This is incredible

  • Eden Wong

    Holy crap.

  • Niall Hastie

    That is just breathtaking. One of the most hypnotically beautiful things I’ve seen! Amazing.

  • cas_e

    Amazing. But what does focus stacking mean? (sorry probably a stupid question)

  • Ben Chompers

    Unbelievable. Love this.

  • Brendon923

    Anyone else feel queazy have watching this?

  • Rodrigo Abello


  • Sudhir

    Haunting Music !

  • NancyP


  • Vlad Chertikhin

    yup mind blown. very well done

  • Adam Cross

    this is how you macro. but not only are the shots great, the whole piece is well put together and the music choice is impeccable. If only other time-lapsers could get the last two elements right

  • Cynical Bloke

    Great work and thank god it wasn’t ruined in the edit like most photographers seem to.

  • SJ Fotography

    awesome… phew!!

  • Dover

    There is an award out there waiting to be bestowed upon this piece of video.

  • Vin Weathermon

    Gorgeous work; I don’t know how those colors were attained but wow…what a masterpiece.

  • dan110024

    Could very well be mistaken for something from another planet. Phenomenal!

  • John Garrett

    Amazing work, although the cameras would be useless after this hahaha.

  • Big Dick Rick

    Thats the closest thing that i’ve seen that compares to being on mushrooms. LOL

  • Maay

    Wow ! That is truly impressive ! Really, really great work. Bravo Daniel !

  • Tauana

    Beautiful, but be careful about the title. The first image is of a polychaete, the final one is a sea urchin, and there are some sponges in the middle. The images are great but what is behind them should be noted as well, the diversity of organisms that live in the bottom of the sea is huge and goes beyond corals.

  • whoopn


    150,000 shots, in RAW, lets say 26MB per photo. So around 3.8TB of RAW images!

  • Jim Johnson

    Yes. Very much so.

    I’m not really squeamish, but this made my skin crawl.

  • Esam Kabli

    just wonderful..

  • Sarmad Berlin

    Wow. Wonder!

  • kassim

    Great entry PetaPixel!Bravo!

  • Jeremiah True

    Absolutely beautiful. It took a lot of dedication and effort but it was worth it.

  • nir


  • BK

    This is simply amazing!

  • John McBriarty

    What just happened! incredible. 22 Wallaby Way, sydney!

  • vincent wallace

    Wow, amazing, beautiful footage and work!