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Old Sep 22, 2011, 7:42 AM   #1
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Default a few dragons (focusblended)

Hi,

I've been playing around a bit with focus blending close up shots.

The first shots where taken with an old kiron 105mm manual focus lens, and... after years of being careful, I broke it.
The last one is from the first shoot with my replacement macro lens, a sigma 105mm f2.8.
All shots where handheld.

A combination of 7 shots.

larger: 3000x2000 version

Exposure Time: 1/500
F Number: 2.8
ISO Speed Ratings: 140
Focal Length: 200


Only two shots where needed just to get both heads in focus.

larger: 3000x2000 version

Exposure Time: 1/125
F Number: 9.5
ISO Speed Ratings: 280
Focal Length: 200


This one was made with 5 shots, especially to get the tail more infocus.

larger: 3000x2000 version

Exposure Time: 1/125
F Number: 4
ISO Speed Ratings: 400
Focal Length: 105



Combination of 8 images.
This is the first time I tried multiple images when using a flash.
They don't seem to mind.

larger: 3000x2000 version

Exposure Time: 1/125
F Number: 4
ISO Speed Ratings: 400
Focal Length: 105


Cheers

Ronny
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Old Sep 22, 2011, 9:06 AM   #2
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That is like nothing I've seen before. I'm curious, how do you get 8 shots handheld to line up without size differences.
Those are some awesome shots. For me, two clicks and the dragons fly off.
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Old Sep 22, 2011, 9:25 AM   #3
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thanks Loren,

as long as you don't move a lot those dragons stay put,
so I've got the camera on manual focus ( and most of the time on continuous shooting mode).
I focus on the part of the insect closest to me and then slowly move forward (that's but a few centimeters) to get to the part farthest away.
I then see that I keep the center of the viewfinder pointed to the same part of the insect while slowly moving back and talking pictures.

Now not all images will be useful, because they move, there is wind. If they are not flown away I repeat the process.

When using a flash, its harder because you'll have to wait for the flash to load again, so continuous shooting is out of the game.

Then afterwards in post processing using photoshop I open the shots in layers and auto align them. You can try an auto blend, but mostly I end up masking the pictures myself.

Maybe I'm just lucky, but the more you try the luckier you get.

Ronny
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Old Sep 22, 2011, 10:28 AM   #4
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If you are lucky enough to use a tripod then you can just focus on the closest part and with each shot focus on a bit further away until you reach the far end. All the shots can be assembled in Helicon Focus for remarkable results. Much like you have here all done manually. Great job.
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Old Sep 22, 2011, 10:42 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhermans View Post
Hi,

I've been playing around a bit with focus blending close up shots.....

Ronny

Excellent macro shots Ronny. I'm amazed that you could focus stack outdoor
insect shots. It would be difficult here because of the wind.
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Old Sep 22, 2011, 12:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bynx View Post
If you are lucky enough to use a tripod then you can just focus on the closest part and with each shot focus on a bit further away until you reach the far end. All the shots can be assembled in Helicon Focus for remarkable results. Much like you have here all done manually. Great job.
Thanks Bynx

I haven't had any luck with a tripod for dragons, unless using a telelens.
I can't get close enough with it.

I know Helicon Focus is great (got a licence for it), its a lot better than the blend tool in photoshop, but when you've got a bit of wind, or the insect moves you are always better of doing it yourself.

Ronny
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Old Sep 22, 2011, 12:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corkpix View Post
Excellent macro shots Ronny. I'm amazed that you could focus stack outdoor
insect shots. It would be difficult here because of the wind.
Thanks,

we got enough wind to, and sometimes I go out wondering if I could find anything to shoot.
Most of the time I find something in a place where the wind is a bit less.
So don't worry about the weather and just try, you might surprise yourself.

Ronny
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Old Sep 22, 2011, 2:08 PM   #8
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Impressive, Ronny. Interesting reading

//T
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Old Sep 24, 2011, 5:17 PM   #9
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WOW - just fantastic, I am in awe and are now going to pick my jaw up off the floor. Love the entire series, but NO.2 is my fave.
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Old Sep 25, 2011, 4:04 PM   #10
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Amazing series rhermans, congratulations on your control over the camera to take handheld stacked focus shots.
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