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Thread: Old School Trying to Graduate!

  1. #1

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    Old School Trying to Graduate!

    I am new to this forum and quite new to digital photography. Just started on that with a Nikon D5100.
    Still climbing the learning curve, it is not steep though, I presume . I took this image (of Gloriosa Lily flower about to bloom fully) with Nikon F90X-Micro Nikkor 105mm 2.8D in September 2010. Scanned the photograph with a UMax Astra2200 scanner. Had done a bit of cloning to remove some distracting elements at the back. Slight sharpening done. All comments welcome.
    I was walking through a side street in my small city, when I noticed this. It reminded me of a bowing
    ballerina. I intend to take a similar shot with my new D5100 using focus stacking if I get a chance.
    Can you advice me on how to go about that with out tethering? Thank you.
    Old School Trying to Graduate!
    This second image(Hibiscus) was taken with D5100 hand held and Nikkor 70-300mm 4.5-5.6G at 300mm (DX 450)and f/5.6.The sky was overcast. Then suddenly the clouds parted a little and some light streamed in.Later the image was scaled,adjusted the colour(we still use this spelling) levels and enhanced sharpness a little with unsharp Mask in GIMP. It would have been better if the sky had some colour.But the gray was appealing and the bokeh quite tempting. I am still learning and would like to know where I am in the curve.
    Thank you all.
    Warm regards.
    Ramachandran.
    Old School Trying to Graduate!

  2. #2
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Old School Trying to Graduate!

    Quote Originally Posted by Pappadi View Post
    I am new to this forum and quite new to digital photography. Just started on that with a Nikon D5100.
    Ramachandran

    Let me, first, offer you a very warm welcome into membership of CiC. Thank you for choosing this forum as one to join.

    I'm very glad you managed to sort out the issue of how to post images here on the forum.

    I intend to take a similar shot with my new D5100 using focus stacking if I get a chance.
    Can you advice me on how to go about that with out tethering? Thank you.
    I have no knowledge in this area, but cannot imagine how you could do this if there was any chance of the subject moving. But, perhaps others with some experience will be able to provide a more comprehensive answer.

    I notice, too, that you use the GIMP. There are not many of us, but we are enthusiastic!

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    Re: Old School Trying to Graduate!

    Hi Ramachandran

    Just wanted to tell you I love the light and detail of the hibiscus shot, it's beautiful. If it was mine I might try cropping the top to just above the leaf, but it all boils down to personal preference. Looking forward to seeing more from the D5100. Sorry I can't help with focus stacking but someone else might come along, I know there are a few people here who do that sort of thing.

    Wendy

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    CougarFool's Avatar
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    Two very nice images. Look forward to seeing more.

  5. #5

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    Re: Old School Trying to Graduate!

    The main thing with focus stacking is to use a good steady tripod and avoid windy days which moves the subject around. It is amazing how a flower can 'move about' on the slightest breeze.

    Then carefully refocus manually on different parts of your subject. But if you aren't careful you can get variation in image size if you choose too great a depth in the subject or accidentally move the distance adjustment on a zoom lens while manually focusing.

    Do you have any focus stacking software? I have managed to merge a couple of shots manually using layers and masks but it is a bit time consuming to get correct.

  6. #6
    PRSearls's Avatar
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    Re: Old School Trying to Graduate!

    I often use focus stacking in close-up photography of flowers. What Geoff said is correct. You need to keep the subject stationary in order to carefully focus; use manual focus and manual exposure. If the exposure is longer than 1/10th second, use mirror lockup if your camera has it. I usually practice my focusing "slices" several times to decide how much to turn the lens focusing ring before I take the shots. The software I use is Helicon Focus; I've had very good success with it. When the results are disappointing, my focusing points have usually been too far apart. Stack focusing is not difficult but it takes some discipline to give good results. Try it, it's fun.

    - Paul -

  7. #7

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    Re: Old School Trying to Graduate!

    Thank you Donald. As you have noticed,yes it took two-three trials to link to my flicker images. I had forgotten they had changed their linking facility.BTW, it is very good you have a trial page for people like me.

    Thank you Wendy.I wanted to crop it for better composition, but I wanted that pale orange glow at the right top.It was what attracted my attention first. But then I have still problems with good composition!May be I will master it one day!

    Nigel, thanks a lot.

    Thank you Geoff F. I have Combine ZP an image stacking software by Alan Hadley.I haven't tried it yet.Thank you.

    Paul,thank you.Keeping a flower from moving is difficult, as you and Geoff F have said.But it is not impossible. But then other problems will come up, like say light. My present problem is that it is raining almost everyday and the gloriosa (G.superba) plants are almost all withered with an occasional bloom atop a tender plant.It is a climber with tendrils at the tip of its leaves.I may have to wait for the next season.
    Thank you all and best regards.

  8. #8
    MrB's Avatar
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    Re: Old School Trying to Graduate!

    This image of the Hibiscus flower is wonderful, Ramachandran.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pappadi View Post
    Old School Trying to Graduate!
    The only suggestion, and this is probably a matter of personal taste, is that the curved banding and circles in the background (is this lens flare?) are distracting to me so that, if it were mine, I would blur them out, e.g. -

    Old School Trying to Graduate!

    Philip

  9. #9

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    Re: Old School Trying to Graduate!

    Here is a suggestion to help reduce flower movement. I didn't invent this complicated piece of equipment, although this is my personalised version.

    Old School Trying to Graduate!

  10. #10

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    Re: Old School Trying to Graduate!

    Thank you Philip. That is nice work. Photoshop? I didn't want to do that to my first images to this forum. I am learning the digital world and wanted the candid views of experts like you. All of you have done that sincerely.Thank you.
    The banding occurred because I moved the camera from top left towards the leaves, in the hope that I would create straight banding in that direction, but failed to notice a coconut tree far behind which bent them down. I wanted those to suggest movement because when I looked at the flower I thought first it was staring at me with its anthers AND moving away from me in a sort of shyness. I still can remember the sweetness I felt and the smile I had. I waited and thought it would swing back and smile at me in full glee. Well, these are only my imaginations! Everything was stand still and I thought I would move the light by creating bands and those circles called bokeh. I couldn't do that fully because of that coconut tree (omnipresent in my place)far behind. Regards.

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