I've never done this before, but apparently I've been missing out for a while.
I watched a video that told me how I could take macro images with my current lens on any DSLR camera. So, I took the kit lens off my Canon EOS Rebel and reversed it in order to take a macro and I have to say it came out pretty good. Of course, that takes away autofocus as well as being able to regulate the aperture -- so the lens is always wide open. You can only adjust ISO and shutter speed so the exposure has to be on manual.
My problem is that my hands aren't as steady as they once were. Used to be able to shoot with a 300mm lens with no noticeable shake at 1/60s, but had to run that up to 1/125s and boost the ISO to 3200 to get a fair image. I guess it's time to admit I need to use my tripod and monopod more.
I was pretty happy with the result, processed the image in Affinity Photo (of course).
Very impressive @j3rry. I would guess that the Cladonias were around 1cm high.
Why do you think that it was necessary to take 99 images? Your depth of field only encompasses the fore- and middle-ground. I would guess you could have got a good final result with 30 or less images.
If you tell me that you have a motorised rack which does it all for you then I would accept that. You might as well use it!