Experiment in focus stitching. Some delicious Aged Gouda for your pleasure.
Composite of about 10 images
All images shot with 105mm macro lens at f/11, iso 100, 1/2 sec, mirror delay, remote shutter release. Creeped the focus dial with each shot to get the tip of the cheese all the way to the end of it in focus.
Used Helicon Focus software to assemble the end product. They have a free 30 day trial and it's quite an impressive piece of software. You load up your RAW files (or jpg or tiff, etc) and hit render and it will resize the images and stitch them together to create the "perfect" focus image. You just have to make sure you have actually have the entire focus field covered, otherwise there can be patches of out of focus elements in your final picture.
The benefit to using focus stitching rather than pumping the Aperture up to f/32 or above is that you avoid diffraction and get to stick with wider apertures. The final picture will be much sharper due to this. Not to mention that even with the best intentions and your aperture all the way maxed out, if you are doing macro photography you can still have a considerable amount of your subject out of focus.
Here is a link to the 100% version of the above file if you want to do a closer inspection. Original Size
Hardware: Nikon D80, Sigma 10-20mm, Nikon 18-55 mm VR, 55-200 mm VR, 105mm f/2.8D Micro, 35mm f/1.8G, SB-600, Manfrotto/Bogen 190CXPRO3 + 468MGRC2
Software: Aperture, Photomatix, GIMP
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