Day 15 – Rose Focus Stack

It’s the end of the week, and a productive one at that!  Work has been good and I’ve made a lot of progress.  Even though my creativity is not as strong as others, this daily focus on the ‘Shot of the Day’ has been good to clear out my mind and has given me more focus at work.  And by focusing more at work, I have pent up creative endeavors!  So, in the spirit of focus, I decided to practice Focus Stacking tonight, in addition to off camera flash.  The above image was created with an extension tube attached between the lens and camera to bring the lens closer to the subject.  It’s not quite close enough for macro photography, but it’s close.  The depth of field when shooting macro is razor thin so it’s impossible to get an image in full focus, no matter what aperture you use.  To prevent defraction, i shot at F11, camera on tripod, focused on the closest part of the flower, then took 17 subsequent shots, moving the focal point slightly each time to bring other points of the image into focus.  The images were then processed in Lightroom for such things as white balance, exposure, contrast, etc.  I pushed the images to Photoshop where I focus stacked.  Photoshop pulls out of each image those parts that are in focus, then merges all focused pieces into one image.  This allowed me to get the entire rose in focus.

Tonight took  few hours to set up – I will be trying more Macro/focus stacking this weekend, but given the previous few photos that I would just chalk up to ‘commitment days’, I’m really pleased with this image.  There’s some things I can do to improve, but essentially, this was my first attempt and I’m quite pleased with the results!

Shoot details:  Canon 5DmkIII, 70-200mm f/2.8L, Canon EF 25 II Extension Tube, Shutter Release Remote Control, Tripod, Canon ST-E3 RT Radio Trigger, 2x Canon 600EX-RT flashguns; 1 housed in Apollo Octobox (soft box) on stand above and camera right, the other with a blue gel used as back light, with 2x Mag Mod grid to control spill.  Water droplets created with water mixed with Glycerin in a squirt bottle and ‘mist’ onto the flower.

f/11, ISO 100, 1/125″

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