Saturday, February 12, 2011

Focus-Stacking Experiment #2 - Lynx Spider

Not entirely convinced of internet wisdom so decided to try something else... 

While most experienced macro shooters seems to take the approach of stacking by moving the camera (i.e. with focus rails), and advises against using the focus ring to shift focus because (a) it changes the size of the image and (b) it changes the bokeh. these factors will complicate attempts to stack if not properly dealt with. 

But having researched further, it seems that these factors are more critical when stacking images at HIGH magnification - 3x, 4x, etc... seems that at 1:1, both approaches are possible and will yield similar results. 

Hence, i decided to try the focusing ring method today - yes, it can be done and its much easier too.

- Select and process all the pictures selected for processing:

- 8 files selected and stacked - final output:

Not bad eh?

K5, Voigtlander 125, AF160FC

Monday, February 7, 2011

Focus-Stacking Experiment

Tried the focus-stacking function in photoshop today. 

First, took 2 pictures of a very co-operative subject

#1: Head in sharp focus

#2: Rear segment in sharp focus

This was achieved by shifting the camera slightly, so that the same perspective is maintained, but with a different part of the subject in sharp focus. Most guides would suggest this method instead of using the focusing ring because using the focusing ring would change the size of the subject, and change the bokeh, which would make a smooth stack more challenging later. 

I tend to agree. even with a very straightforward pic, stacking just 2 shots, there were a lot of things that did go wrong. I had to use the healing brush to smooth out some of the more awkward areas that didn't stack properly. Fortunately, it was only very slight. 

And Voila... the successfully stacked output:

K5, Vivitar 2x macro converter, Sigma 50mm macro, monopod, AF160 Ringflash

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Making it Big - Magnifying Subjects: Satisfying or Irritating?

I've gravitated back and forth on this subject - is bigger always better? or should we aim for better composition and magnify only when it serves a purpose?

The key problem i think, is that once u magnify, the scope for composition is drastically reduced and the technical complexities  increases greatly as well - shallow DOF, more light needed to light up the subject, tripod... 

Oh nevermind... Its still fun to do once in awhile when the right subject comes along :)

~2x magnification. 



it works better on a housefly than a lynx spider though...

K5, Vivitar 2x macro converter, Voigtlander 125

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Jumping Spider

One of my favourite subjects: the adorable jumping spiders! they're so cute!

I missed focus for optimum sharpness though... sigh... 




Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Giant Shield Bug - Pycanum Rubens

Ok. I exaggerate - maybe not "giant", but "adult" :)

It rained all weekend so there were a few perched on the branches drying themselves when i went out.

They were HUGE - abt 2 - 3 inches long.






K5, Sigma 50mm F2.8, pop-up flash