Late Bloomer + Rework



Yesterday just one stalk of my favourite flower, Yoruba bologi (Crassocephalum rubens) remained.It was still attracting many hoverflies, though the butterflies have nearly gone.

Specific Feedback Requested

As the flower is only 1.5cm, I attached my close-up lens to the Helios lens. I had to do this with rubber bands, as the Helios is too narrow in diameter. I used the Helios as it has much more focus play, making it easier for stacking than the 105mm macro lens. Comments on the stack would be most welcome.

Technical Details

D500 + Helios 44-2 58mm f2 + Raynox250 1/500 f2 ISO 100 Tripod

Stacked in Zerene, then PS for Shadows, Highlights and Curves.

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Hi Mike, This is an incredible image with great detail. I have never stacked any images, so I cannot comment on how you stacked other than the detail is spectacular. I’ve heard wonderful things about the Helios and how it blurs the background, so I love the blur in the background. My only suggestion would be to use less background and crop in to show more detail.

Lovely little blue flower, Mike. Your stack did provide wonderful detail and I agree with @robertakayne about cropping, but maybe not quite so close??

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I like the structure here and the color is so unusual. Agree that a little brighter and closer will help show both to better effect. Heroic effort with the rubber band attachment method!

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Mike, this is quite a feat of stacking. Do you really mean 1.5 mm? If so, and this is a full frame view, you were working at around 10X. The details in the flower look very good and the pure blue color is rare in the flower world. When I carefully inspect the largest version it looks like it might be just a tiny bit soft (which is expected from using a “close up” lens at high magnification, since you’re using the prime lens at higher magnification than its design specifications). Some modest micro contrast (also know as clarity) might help that but it’s not necessary unless you’re planning to make a large print. I also see what may be some slightly dark “ghosting” around the flower’s edge between 12 and 3 o’clock. In spite of how many words I’ve used pointing out minor issues, this looks great and is quite a stacking achievement, well done. The hint of stem coming in from the lower right adds a nice touch of movement.

No, @Mark_Seaver - I really meant 1.5cm. Thanks for keeping me accurate, as always. I grew up with imperial units! Will make the adjustments suggested and repost at the top. Comments on stacking greatly appreciated.

Thanks @Kris_Smith @linda_mellor and @robertakayne for your comments.