Forest Floor, near the Rio Pueblo

Ribes sp. in open shade and direct late afternoon sun, close up, just experimenting after reading awhile by the stream.

Forest Floor, near the Rio Pueblo

Specific Feedback Requested

I am interested in any emotional, aesthetic, or other responses, and in any technical flaws you notice, and other critiques, preferably with advice on how to fix what you see! I am at a point that any response is better than none, and rejection does not really impact my pleasure, especially if there are good reasons for the rejection!

Technical Details

This is a two exposure focus stack, with some color adjustments through a mask made with TK Actions, and some burning in. I am finally feeling more confident in Photoshop, after viewing and beginning to study Sean Bagshaw’s Photoshop Essentials video course, and Tony Kuyper’s TK7 actions. I was experimenting, made one image at f22 (Canon APS-C), then two at f6.3, and focus stacked them, then had to clone out ghosts, then used an infinite color mask made with TK7 actions, then some burning in. I wanted to practice my new photoshop skills and compare the difference between focus stacking at larger apertures, and the diffraction at small apertures.


Bill, it is always nice to experiment in photography, especially now in the digital age, where we can hit the delete button. You are a step ahead of me, as I haven’t ventured to the focus stacking. I will have to let someone else advise on that. The image looks good to me, sharply focused, with nice dapple shading along with the sunlight. I like the nice green (alive) plant/weed against all the dead leaves and wood. The square crop works well in my opinion. I’m not sure if I would have moved that little limb lying there when taking the photo.

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Bill, the plant stands out well in the midst of all the warm browns and greys. This is a pleasantly inviting scene, that speaks well of quiet contemplation. At NPN display sizes, it’s hard to imagine that the extra work for a focus stack (even only 2 frames) is worth it. My testing with my 180 mm macro and 7D2 showed only slightly detectable diffraction blurring at f22 when viewed at 100% on a 27" monitor, with addition, but still subtle blurring seen at f/25 and at f/32. Again, unless you plan on making large (as in 24" x 24" or larger) prints the slight loss of sharpness due to diffraction beyond f/22 hardly makes the stacking effort worth while…my 2 cents.

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Bill: Not much to add to what Mark said regarding diffraction. I think the angst over it is way overblown by folks who want to sound like experts but really aren’t into practical image making. On a scene like this single capture is a lot more convenient. Now if you were getting really close to the plant and wanted to keep the BG blurred, stacking can really shine. As for the image itself, I especially like the dappled light and the color palette. An image like this also works well in Flora. Great to have you posting here and looking forward to more. >=))>

I like the contrast between dead and alive in this image - Dead wood, leaves and debris and alive and vibrant plant. Agree with others that stacking may not be necessary, but the final result is pleasing. placement of the plant and the crop also work well.