Showy Fleabane

Critique Style Requested: Standard

The photographer is looking for generalized feedback about the aesthetic and technical qualities of their image.


This was actually shot as part of developing an educational display on macro photography for our local county fair. It’s a 38 image stack of the center of the flower. I discovered that this may not have been the best example for illustrating stacking as all those overlapping fine petals gave Helicon fits. When I tried to do the whole flower front to back (129 images) there were significant artifacts at f/8 and much worse at f/3.5 (183 images). Choosing just the center seems to work much better.

Specific Feedback

Is leaving the front and rear both out of focus effective in this image?

Technical Details

Sony A7Riv, Canon 180 mm f/3.5 macro, 38 images stacked in Helicon focus, method C, “studio”, tripod, cable release, f/8, 1/15, iso 400. Processed in LR & PS CC. Cropped to 8652x5344. Overcast light through a skylight.

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I think it is effective in demonstrating stacking because the center is the object of the stacking. I do think removal of the two out of focus petals (one above stem and other to the left of it infringing on yellow area) could help emphasize the stacking.

My brain hurts thinking of the work going into making a stack like this. The center stack came out well. I’d agree with Jim’s comment on removing the two petals impinging on the front of the stamens(? not up on my botany) and maybe the ones just peeking out in the rear.