Apple blossom

Description: A fresh blossom on my apple tree. I’m a little worried this year as I only have 2 blossoms total between 2 trees and few signs of more, hoping it’s just early in the season!

Specific Feedback Requested: general feedback. I know I missed the focus on the top petal facing the camera

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

Is this a composite? (focus stacks or exposure blends are not considered composites)
Focus stack of 7 images, iso100, f2.8, 1/2500 sec using Sony a7ii with Sony 50mm macro. Some light adjustments in LR, focus stack in PS then sharpening and crop

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You found a wonderful subject in great light and a good composition, but the enlargement reveals imperfections in the stacking. PS doesn’t stand up to Zerene or Helicon Focus. Possibly some of the fault is with the number of frames… 7 at f/2.8 will have too many gaps. I would shoot 30 or more for that needed DOF. Very difficult before in-camera focus bracketing. Alternative is to use more like f/14 for a 50mm macro and hand-focusing. But PS still won’t do the job.

For this image: The whites look pretty good. Have you tried to lighten the dark shadow on the bottom leaf? What would you think about a slight crop on the right?

@David_Kingham, I wish an enlargement would let me scroll horizontally – am I missing something?

2 posts were split to a new topic: Enlarged photo will not scroll horizontally

Thanks Diane! I’ll definitely look into helicon focus and increasing number of shots in a stack. I was trying to just use autofocus on a few areas, but I’m thinking the manual focus and slight changes would definitely be better since the Sonys don’t have auto DOF bracketing.
Have you ever tried using a macro rail for stacking? I’m wondering if that might get better results than manual focus adjustments.

Just trying to hit a few select focus points doesn’t work. The software needs a smooth set of increments shots from close to far. The spacing needed depends on the aperture. Without in-camera focus bracketing, that needs to be done manually with very careful almost-microscopic manual focus shifts. Start a little too close and go to a little too far and delete on the ends of the set as needed. A focus rail won’t work for the software – it needs to be bracketed with focus shift, with the camera on a very sturdy tripod if done by hand.

But what you’re looking for on the camera isn’t DOF bracketing but focus bracketing.