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Thread: Spotted-eye Drone Fly

  1. #1
    teokf's Avatar
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    Spotted-eye Drone Fly

    Decided to post some of my favourite bugs. Do give your critique and comments and thanks for viewing.

    Side view
    Spotted-eye Drone Fly

    Front view
    Spotted-eye Drone Fly

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    Re: Spotted-eye Drone Fly

    Love the side view shot.....great details, sharp! Looks great viewed on the black (enlarged view) The DOF is not so good in the front view, the focus is on the two front feet....hard to take that kind of shot, I keep meaning to do the "stacking focus" image, to see if I can improve my dof in macro bugs.....have you tried it?

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    Re: Spotted-eye Drone Fly

    Thanks for the comments. I have tried stacking once and the final photo was horrible. This was probably because the shots were not in alignment. After that first try, I have not done it since as most of my macros are hand held.

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    Re: Spotted-eye Drone Fly

    Even with a tripod, Steven, wind rock on plants/insects can be considerable, including calm days, to say nothing of subject movement which often makes stacking of 'real life' shots impossible.

    In which case, all you can do is use a narrow aperture like F14 or F16 and add a bit of flash if necessary to get sufficient shutter speed.

    I have successfully managed to combine two shots by using layers and masks to manually pick the sharpest elements of each but going beyond that is probably best left to studio photography.

    My results with some of the auto stacking software were also disappointing. Those that did auto align correctly ended up being excessively over sharpened. But I haven't tried anything similar recently so the software may have improved now.

    Some people certainly seem to get good results. Auto aligning two shots with Adobe CS5 sometimes works OK for me; at least with indoor work.

    Anyway, you have good clarity and exposure with these shots.

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    Re: Spotted-eye Drone Fly

    I see your point, Geoff....was just wondering...but insects don't always sit and wait for us to change the f stop, either.. You know, on a camera, you can set your exposures to bracket like +1, 0 and -1..... I wonder if they ever came up with a camera that can take 3 or more images quickly and the camera automatically changes the f stop ? That would be interesting.

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    Re: Spotted-eye Drone Fly

    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    I wonder if they ever came up with a camera that can take 3 or more images quickly and the camera automatically changes the f stop ? That would be interesting.
    Hi Nat,

    Not sure why you would want to change f-stop for this purpose, it is really focus distance stacking you want, isn't it?

    Arguably you could achieve f-stop stacking by putting the camera into shutter priority and using exposure bracketing, although probably this isn't what you mean either.

    I think you did mean what I said afterall, but used the wrong f-word

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Spotted-eye Drone Fly

    Great shots Steven, better than I have achieved.

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    Re: Spotted-eye Drone Fly

    I hope Steven realizes I am impressed with his shots, too....better than I ever got of a fly...and that's the truth! ...was just thinking how to get a macro of the face-first fly in better focus...

    Did I use the wrong F word? Oh, my!! , I was thinking the different f stops would change the sharpness....not a bad idea, f stop bracketing. You would be able to get bokeh, less bokeh, and very sharp images in a quick burst. BUT then they wouldn't be the same for stacking? And it would not work for macro of bugs....that's where I was thinking wrong. You can play longer with a still life, but a fly is not that.
    But still wonder if a camera could bracket focusing, too? IS there such a camera? Maybe the new type of digital camera that they promise for the future will have this....they say you won't even have to focus, you won't be able to take a bad shot...but I digress....sorry.

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    teokf's Avatar
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    Re: Spotted-eye Drone Fly

    Geoff, I was thinking when you stack in CS5, how do you pick the sharp part over the un-focus part? I use LR only and been reading and watching some videos that some forummers have recommended. I should probably try f/16 the next time I shoot the face

    Dave, Nat thanks for the comments. I wonder what would a non-photographer think when they hear all the f/ talk

  10. #10
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    Re: Spotted-eye Drone Fly

    I wonder if this is the kind of stuff the new Lytro cameras would solve...

    - Bill

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    Re: Spotted-eye Drone Fly

    A few issues here, Steven.

    Obviously, subject movement can be a problem when shooting live insects. However, for static targets this is what I do; but there are a number of alternatives. Shooting Raw presents some potential editing problems but these can be easily overcome.

    When using CS5 (the automated method).

    After shooting perfectly with more than one focus point. Upload images to computer and store unedited in a suitable folder; or edit identically.

    Go to File menu and select Scripts; load all files and choose Attempt to Automatically Align. When aligned and transferred to your editing window, select all the layers (of the shots). Go to Edit menu and select Auto Blend Layers. Choose Stack from the options.

    This should automatically select the sharpest bits from each layer and mask out the unwanted bits.

    When shooting Raw. Either edit each shot identically and store in a folder, as above, or auto apply the edit to each shot of the stack. Basically this method is Select all the required images using Bridge and open all of them.

    They should appear on the left side of the Raw window. Select All and edit the first image as required. Select Synchronise then choose Everything from the options; or select which individual items need to be identical.

    Either save in a holding folder and work as above, using the Scripts command or, after they have moved to the main editing window, select each image then copy and paste as a layer onto the base image.

    When you get all of the shots arranged as layers. Select all the layers and choose Auto Align Layers from the Edit menu, use the Auto setting. When finished use Auto Blend and Stack from Edit menu. Which will automatically blend the sharpest bits, as before.

    The alternative manual method.

    After Auto aligning the layers simply use masks which can be edited to reveal or hide the bits which you wish to use or hide and combine everything when completed.

    This does require a little bit of mask editing skill to select just the required areas but isn't that difficult if you are familiar with using masks and layers.

    Hope that makes sense, it is a quick abridged version from my full notes.

    I did pass this idea to a friend who uses Elements 10 and he found some of the CS5 methods had to be done differently. But he did, eventually, manage something similar.

  12. #12

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    Re: Spotted-eye Drone Fly

    Nat. Obviously there is nothing to prevent anyone from creating a HDR effect on a macro shot. Although, as you later mentioned, you were really thinking about multiple focus points.

    An amateur photographer, and electrics boffin, has actually created a little machine which automatically moves your camera a selected distance, using a tripod and slide head, and takes the photos.

    Offhand, I can't remember if he is a CinC member or frequents the Wild About Britain photo section. There are a number of people with extraordinary talents on both forums.

    If I can find the details I will post them here. But the device is currently still in the experimental stage.

  13. #13

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    Re: Spotted-eye Drone Fly

    So here it is; a device for automatically taking stacked focus shots.

    http://www.wildaboutbritain.co.uk/fo...king-rail.html

  14. #14
    teokf's Avatar
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    Re: Spotted-eye Drone Fly

    Geoff, thanks for the detailed explanation. Much appreciated

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