Helpful Posts Helpful Posts:  0
Results 1 to 17 of 17

Thread: Gossamer Revisited: My first macro shots

  1. #1
    Snarkbyte's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ USA
    Posts
    468
    Real Name
    Al

    Gossamer Revisited: My first macro shots

    My first attempts at macro photography, using a subject I used in an earlier post. I took 6 sets of shots, with a range of DoF for each set; one shot from 5 of those sets are shown below. C&C definitely appreciated (be honest... I'm trying to learn, and I have thick skin).

    A: Canon 7D 60mm@f/4.5 1/15sec ISO100 Range 270mm
    Gossamer Revisited: My first macro shots

    B: Canon 7D 60mm@f/8.0 1/6sec ISO100 Range 240mm
    Gossamer Revisited: My first macro shots

    D: Canon 7D 60mm@f/18.0 1.6sec ISO100 Range 240mm
    Gossamer Revisited: My first macro shots

    E: Canon 7D 60mm@f/11.0 0.6sec ISO100 Range 230mm
    Gossamer Revisited: My first macro shots

    F: Canon 7D 60mm@f/32.0 6.0sec ISO100 Range 230mm
    Gossamer Revisited: My first macro shots

  2. #2
    rob marshall

    Re: Gossamer Revisited: My first macro shots

    Al

    Did you try stacking the shots from each set, or do you not have the software to do it?

  3. #3
    Snarkbyte's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ USA
    Posts
    468
    Real Name
    Al

    Re: Gossamer Revisited: My first macro shots

    I haven't tried stacking. I do have CS5, but my PP skills are still in infancy, so I'm still going thru the Kelby Training videos for all the basic stuff for layers, masking, etc.... I have read about stacking here, so I may try it on some of these shots in the not-to-distant future.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    South Devon, UK
    Posts
    12,011

    Re: Gossamer Revisited: My first macro shots

    Are these 'in the wild' or studio shots?

    I find that real life outside shots always suffer from movement, even in the slightest breeze; which also means that stacking these shots rarely works well. I do sometimes get away with merging a couple of insect shots but it is difficult to get correct. Even studio conditions need very careful tripod control.

    I would use a reasonably small aperture here, say F8 to F14 and increase the ISO to suit, or use flash. And if taken outside, I would like a much shorter shutter speed, depending on the amount of wind rock problems. Say 1/100 to 1/250. Too small an aperture tends to reduce sharpness and produces a rather confusing image.

    But you have chosen a very difficult subject here so you have done well to get these shots.

  5. #5
    rob marshall

    Re: Gossamer Revisited: My first macro shots

    Quote Originally Posted by Snarkbyte View Post
    I haven't tried stacking. I do have CS5, but my PP skills are still in infancy, so I'm still going thru the Kelby Training videos for all the basic stuff for layers, masking, etc.... I have read about stacking here, so I may try it on some of these shots in the not-to-distant future.
    It's very easy with CS5, just...
    1. Load your RAW files to CS RAW edit (ACR) and make RAW edit changes.
    2. Select them all, and hit 'synchronize' then open the images in CS
    3. Don't need to save them, just go to FILE > SCRIPTS > LOAD FILES INTO STACK
    4. When the dialogue box appears make sure you check the 'Attempt to automatically Align Source Images' box... and then continue.
    5. Go to the layers palette and select all the layers (Press CTRL and click each layer or Select=>All layers) then go to Edit/Auto-Blend Layers (tick the box that says 'stack images').
    6. Save your blended image, then cancel all of the RAWs you imported into CS (the actual RAW files will be saved with the changes you applied to them).
    7. Finish editing the blended shot in CS.

  6. #6
    Snarkbyte's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ USA
    Posts
    468
    Real Name
    Al

    Re: Gossamer Revisited: My first macro shots

    The shots were taken outdoors for better light (I don't have any suitable indoor lighting, other than built-in flash... yuck). On the other hand, it's not really "wild", either; I gathered a cluster from the wild, and used a tripod and 'plamp' widget in wind-sheltered area of my backyard. I also used live view and remote cable release to avoid any movement. The feathery seeds are very sensitive to even the slightest puff, so I went to some effort for wind shelter. I don't see any motion blur, but I experimented with a range of apertures because I'm torn between the soft feathery look (with the downy stuff out of focus) and the sharp images. There's a whole world inside just a small clump of this stuff, so just choosing a location and an angle is a challenge.... the blooms are not much more than 1/2 cm in diameter. Thanks for your comments, Geoff.

    Rob - Thanks for the procedure, I'll give it a try this weekend and post the results if I get anything worth showing (or in desperate need of help). I really like this subject matter, and I think it has potential for some great macro shots, so it keeps things interesting while I develop some skills. Perhaps I should post some larger images on a PhotoBucket or Flickr account for public viewing and include links; 700px really loses a lot of the detail. (Not an excuse for my shortcomings, but they do look better in full-screen.)
    Last edited by Snarkbyte; 15th January 2011 at 09:14 PM.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    3,090
    Real Name
    Wendy

    Re: Gossamer Revisited: My first macro shots

    Hello Al, I remember these from the first time. Loved them then and love them now.

    In this set my favourite is #2. I also like #1 but think like the first set the flowers could use more saturation or sharpness or something to make them stand out a bit. I'm a big fan of the shallow DOF with this subject, I love that soft look with just a few flowers in focus, however, these also work with the seed carriers in focus.

    In #4 I find that the seed carriers and the flower to the right compete for attention but are not close enough together so my eye wanders. In other words there are 2 subjects, and it doesn't work for me.

    #5 is just too busy for my eyes. If the flowers were not covered with fuzzies then it might have worked.

    I think with this plant the most important factor is going to be how you combine composition and DOF and get them to work together. In shots 1 & 2 I think you've done a great job. With #4 I think composition suffers and #5 lacks any real focal point.

    I think you could also play around with these a lot in PP with regards to colour and saturation or whatever and come up with many happy combinations, that may or may not be anything like the actual shot, but the subject matter is such that the possibilities are only limited by your imagination.

    Hope to see more. Did you ever find out what this plant is. I want to plant some

    Wendy
    Last edited by ScoutR; 16th January 2011 at 02:57 AM. Reason: changed Shot #s from 3 & 4 to 4 & 5

  8. #8
    Snarkbyte's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ USA
    Posts
    468
    Real Name
    Al

    Re: Gossamer Revisited: My first macro shots

    Thanks, Wendy, I really appreciate your comments and encouragement. I have played around with the flowers a bit in PP, adding some artificial color... they look kinda nice in pastel blue, and the color draws the eye. (Yeah, I know some people object to that sort of thing, but I'm not a journalist, so if it makes an interesting image, I don't have a problem). I agree that I do need to stay focused on one subject while composing the shot... as I said previously, there's a whole world in there and it's rather distracting... so many possibilities in such a small space! A really talented photographer such as yourself could do wonders with lighting and composition on this subject.

    I haven't really tried to look up the name of this plant, but I will make an effort... it's quite common here. You may be disappointed, though... the plant itself is not at all impressive and the flowers are very small. I have no idea if these plants could even survive in Canada, but I'll let you know what I can find out about it.

  9. #9
    djg05478's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    VT, USA
    Posts
    418
    Real Name
    Debbie

    Re: Gossamer Revisited: My first macro shots

    I like the second one the best. The single "flower" is crisp and clear with plenty of detail and great color. I like it. In some of the others there is a bit of shine, almost reflection, its not that horrible by any means, but I think you nailed it with the second one. I think the most impressive element is your patience to set the whole thing up, nicely done. I'd probably sneeze and send the whole set into oblivion. I hope you try the stack thing - I'd love to see that image (in pastel blue).

    Debbie

  10. #10
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Windsor, Berks, UK
    Posts
    16,395
    Real Name
    Dave Humphries :)

    Re: Gossamer Revisited: My first macro shots

    Quote Originally Posted by Snarkbyte View Post
    Perhaps I should post some larger images on a PhotoBucket or Flickr account for public viewing and include links; 700px really loses a lot of the detail. (Not an excuse for my shortcomings, but they do look better in full-screen.)
    Using the TinyPic method (of image posting) avoids the 700 px limit too, handy if you don't already have an account with PhotoBucket or Flickr.

    I shot something similar last weekend, haven't PP'd yet.

  11. #11
    Snarkbyte's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ USA
    Posts
    468
    Real Name
    Al

    Set B, Full Stack

    Since Wendy and Debbie both liked Set B, I decided to try stacking all of the shots from that set. This is the result of stacking 7 shots at the following apertures:
    f/2.8, f/4.5, f/5.6, f/8.0, f/11, f/18, f/22.

    Gossamer Revisited: My first macro shots

    I also uploaded a full-size image to my Flickr account at this address, for anyone interested:


    http://www.flickr.com/photos/snarkbyte/5358950922/

    Debbie - I'll work on the "colorized" pastel blue version of this image and try to post it tonite or tomorrow (my PS skills are small, so PP takes me a long time).

    Thanks again to Rob for the stacking procedure... quite simple and painless, actually
    Last edited by Snarkbyte; 16th January 2011 at 02:31 AM.

  12. #12

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    3,090
    Real Name
    Wendy

    Re: Set B, Full Stack

    Subtle but very Nice! I love what it has done for the main flower. I wonder how this would work with # 1. I like the soft look but think 1 would work with more detail also.

    Wendy

  13. #13
    Snarkbyte's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ USA
    Posts
    468
    Real Name
    Al

    Set A, Full Stack

    Stack of Set A, as requested by Wendy. Actually, this is my favorite... the white feathery stuff in 3 of the corners almost makes a natural negative vignette (alas, the "vignette" is absent in one corner). This is a stack of 6 images at these apertures: f/2.8, f/4.5, f/8.0, f/11, f/18, f/22

    Gossamer Revisited: My first macro shots


    The full-size image can be seen at my Flickr account:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/snarkbyte/5358602281/


    Don't worry, Debbie, I'm working on the colorized version... it just takes longer.

  14. #14

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    3,090
    Real Name
    Wendy

    Re: Set A, Full Stack

    I like both versions of this one. Very nice

    Wendy

  15. #15
    rob marshall

    Re: Set B, Full Stack

    Quote Originally Posted by Snarkbyte View Post
    Since Wendy and Debbie both liked Set B, I decided to try stacking all of the shots from that set. This is the result of stacking 7 shots at the following apertures:
    [SIZE=3]f/2.8, f/4.5, f/5.6, f/8.0, f/11, f/18, f/22.
    Al

    You shouldn't change the aperture (I didn't realize you had done that). I use f/8 or f/11 for all these type of shots as that uses the best part of the lens. Just put the camera on your tripod, switch the lens to manual focus, switch off image stability if the camera/lens has it. Before you shoot just test the focus range that you want by adjusting the lens manually from front to rear of the scene - it gives you a feel for what you need to do. Then, starting at the front get your first manual focus and shoot, make successive small focus adjustments towards the rear taking a shot each time. That way they are all the same aperture. If you use different apertures you may get inconsistent results.

    The shot looks better stacked. I told you it was easy.

  16. #16
    Snarkbyte's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ USA
    Posts
    468
    Real Name
    Al

    Re: Set B, Full Stack

    Thanks, Rob, I'll remember that for my next macro session. After I completed the stacking process, I did wonder if I should have used the large aperture shots, because some haziness is visible in some areas that were defocused in the large aperture shots. On the other hand, I sort of like the effect in this case, because it sharpens the blooms while enhancing the feathery appearance in the downy areas. This is particularly noticable in the corners of the Set A image, in the "vignette" areas I mentioned earlier. Thanks for straightening me out about the proper use of stacking... the process really is simple, even if the name does make it sound intimidating.

  17. #17
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Windsor, Berks, UK
    Posts
    16,395
    Real Name
    Dave Humphries :)

    Re: Set B, Full Stack

    Quote Originally Posted by Snarkbyte View Post
    Thanks, Rob, I'll remember that for my next macro session. After I completed the stacking process, I did wonder if I should have used the large aperture shots, because some haziness is visible in some areas that were defocused in the large aperture shots. On the other hand, I sort of like the effect in this case, because it sharpens the blooms while enhancing the feathery appearance in the downy areas. This is particularly noticable in the corners of the Set A image, in the "vignette" areas I mentioned earlier. Thanks for straightening me out about the proper use of stacking... the process really is simple, even if the name does make it sound intimidating.
    This tutorial explains why the corners look better.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •