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
If you would like your image to be eligible for a feature on the NPN Instagram (@NaturePhotoNet), add the tag ‘ig’ and leave your Instagram username below.
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?
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.