Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Wordless Wednesday - macros etc...

So what have I been doing this week?



Well I had another go at macros - this time I tried focus-stacking.  What is that I hear you cry?!  Focus stacking is simply a technique to get greater depth of field in a shot.  

When you take macros you have to get very close to your subject (thanks for stating the obvious Barbara), and we all know that the closer your lens is to anything the shallower your depth of field, right? So what you do is put your camera on a tripod, no ifs or buts, you have to do this so that it remains in exactly the same place throughout.  Then you shoot away, manually refocussing for each shot so that different parts of the subject are sharply in focus.  I think I took four shots for each of the above but you can take more of course.

Next you have to combine the shots - you can do this easily in software such as Photoshop or CS4, I think there's also some free software available if you Google it.  As I only have Elements I layered one shot at a time on another and erased the out of focus parts, then added another shot and continued adding and erasing until I was happy with the result.

Here are the images I combined for the flower shot.







8 comments:

Laloofah said...

See, I had no idea you could do this sort of thing - taking the various photos and then layering them! I take it this isn't something that you can do in Lightroom?

I found some of those macro lenses you told me about on Amazon.com and plan to order them soon!

Michelle Montero said...

That's pretty cool! I haven' tried macro but that's an interesting technique.

Barbara said...

Laurie - No Lightroom works differently to Elements. It doesn't have layers as such (I think there may be a plugin you can buy to do that though...) but it is non destructive in that you're not working on your original image when you edit one of your pics in its catalogue. You're working on the catalogue copy. With Elements you are working on your original pic and layers is a way of doing so non-destructively. It's like having layers of acetate on top of your photo to make changes to. It also allows you to do various effects like blend images together etc. Good luck with the macro filters! (Is it filters or extension tubes you're getting?).

Michelle - thank you, macro can become a bit of an obsession!

Laloofah said...

Ah, thanks for the explanation. With Photobucket, you're working on your uploaded image, and can save the edited photo as a copy, or replace the original with it (of course, it's just the original PhotoBucket upload, not the ORIGINAL original!) :-)

Here are the macro filters I am planning to get - any thoughts?

Barbara said...

That looks a really good deal! It might give you such a taste for macro that you want to splash out on a lens, I'm thinking about it as you can use them for portraits too but will have to see what the cash flow is like. Note what it says about very shallow depth of field, a case where focus stacking would be very handy although hard to do with something like an insect that keeps moving. Just make sure they're the right size for your lens, it says 58mm on the description but 52mm on the pouch. You can always buy an adaptor ring though...

William Kendall said...

Something else I'll have to keep in mind, Barbara!

Sherrie {Bird Lady} said...

I would love to learn how to do this combining of photos. Could work nicely with bird photos, but then again, they don't sit still so it might not work that great. I'd still like to learn!

Barbara said...

I did it in Elements Sherrie so you could give it a go!

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