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Focus Stack learning

WoodButcher

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Shot this bloom this evening. Yes, at f 2.8. That was intentional. I wanted to have multiple images with obvious steps for stacking. f18 would have been much better results, but this is learning and doing. Five shot stack, hand held, flash with diffuser and 2 stops under compensation.

IMD_2624-Edit-L.jpg


I'll get serious next time and use a tripod, better lighting and a higher f-stop.
 
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Stacking is fun, and mildly frustrating at times for me.

So are you using PS or a dedicated stacking software alternative?
 

WoodButcher

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Photoshop. I have it, so I'm trying to learn it. So far it has been my 1% tool. Mostly just converting sequences into animated GIFs and stacking. Some Pano work when the first versions of LR failed. Now LR pano tool is better so I keep them in LR.

I need to put my lightbox back together and use the tripod. I'll try some watch pictures for my next attempt.
 
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I may try to do a stack tomorrow, its good practice for any potential questions that come up on the 27th
 

WoodButcher

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Forgot to cross post. This is from my 365 thread. It is a 6 shot stack starting at the beginning of the train. One LED flood light going into a shoot through umbrella so I have light to focus by. Each exposure was about 1.5 seconds at f8, ISO 400. Self timer on 2 seconds since I was too lazy to find my cable release.

Oh, this is so easy with Lightroom and Photoshop. Tripod, light, manual focus, low ISO, 2 second timer for long exposure (or cable release). Shoot, move refocus a little further in, rinse and repeat. Import into Lightroom, tweak one image, sync settings. Select all, Right click, Edit As Layers in Photoshop. In Photoshop, select all layers, Edit, Auto Align Layers, then Edit, Auto Blend Layers. I let it auto content aware fill the edges as part of the stack. Then quit Photoshop, click save button. Magic, image is now in Lightroom and you can tweak it some more.


 

WoodButcher

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I stopped about 3/4 of the way down the main engine. The f-stop and ISO were due to using the one light and some ambient. Setting up some more lights would have allowed for a higher f-stop, but it worked just fine. Doing this makes me realize how amazing it is that people do even closer shots of bugs that are stacked. If they are doing that without chilling the bugs to slow them down then they very fast at getting focus and taking multiple shots.
 

WoodButcher

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That is really dust. Specially on the train. It has been out since before Christmas. I can see a bunch on the tracks tool. My wife was not happy about noticing that, but on the other hand, keeping the train clean (or better, putting it away) is my responsibility. The flower was outside and some is dust and some is pollen.

So yes, we are getting some detail in both images.
 

WoodButcher

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For Jennifer, a better stacked image of the Christmas cactus. As usual, click on the image then select the original size.

 

WoodButcher

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Okay, five shot stack of a dandelion. Just trying out the my new tripod with a tilting center column. Hand held a flash and used a remote trigger to fire it.



The rig.

i-kJx97B4-L.jpg
 

WoodButcher

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Well, M38A1's 365 picture for today got me back out into the backyard to get an after shot. Ended up with some weed shots. Three shot stack on the dandelion and five shot on the other weed.

IMD_3434-Edit-L.jpg


IMD_3439-Edit-L.jpg
 
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