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Old Jul 15, 2012, 10:06 AM   #1
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Default Helicon Focus for depth of field stacking

I recently began using a software package by the name of Helicon Focus. The purpose of the software is to stack or blend multiple images of the same subject into one very sharp image - throughout the depth of field.

The process is to take a series of images with each one having the focus point on a different part of the subject. Once you have your images you import them into Helicon Focus and let the software do it's magic.

It is a rather straightforward process with the results being pretty impressive.

I've attached 2 photos of a yellow lily. The first is a clean file straight from the camera. The 2nd is the result of running 7 different images (including the 1st image you see) thru the Focus software, then taking the composite image and finishing it up in CS6.






I am printing this out at 13 x 19.

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Old Jul 15, 2012, 12:04 PM   #2
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Stunning to say the least. Nice job.
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Old Jul 15, 2012, 2:46 PM   #3
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I like the flower itself on the straight from the camera file, but the processing done on the leaves and stem is great on the second. It just seems like the texture is a bit distracting on the petals, but works great for you in other parts of the picture.
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Old Jul 15, 2012, 4:30 PM   #4
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I like the flower itself on the straight from the camera file, but the processing done on the leaves and stem is great on the second. It just seems like the texture is a bit distracting on the petals, but works great for you in other parts of the picture.
Hi,

There are a lot of things going on in the adjusted photograph. This is one simply focus stacked.
How's this image of a different bloom?



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Old Jul 15, 2012, 4:38 PM   #5
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It's great, nice detail.
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Old Jul 15, 2012, 7:01 PM   #6
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Ok, I think I've got it. The second photo shows a wealth of textural details on the petals. The light from above casts a rich abundance of gradations of brightness as well as a blend of color casts. There are areas of bluish , magenta, and maybe some yellow color cast. I might be wrong, but it seems to me that putting the oil painting effect on top of these superb but subtle details would ruin the picture. The first picture, on the other hand, seems to lack the subtlety and gains from the treatment. I guess I would have to see a treated version of the second image to be sure though. Maybe I would like it. The untreated image is really nice, so it is hard to imagine an improvement.
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Old Jul 15, 2012, 7:27 PM   #7
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Ok, I think I've got it. The second photo shows a wealth of textural details on the petals. The light from above casts a rich abundance of gradations of brightness as well as a blend of color casts. There are areas of bluish , magenta, and maybe some yellow color cast. I might be wrong, but it seems to me that putting the oil painting effect on top of these superb but subtle details would ruin the picture. The first picture, on the other hand, seems to lack the subtlety and gains from the treatment. I guess I would have to see a treated version of the second image to be sure though. Maybe I would like it. The untreated image is really nice, so it is hard to imagine an improvement.
Yes, to me, it all depends on the type of flower I'm shooting. The Lily, while interesting, lacks the subtleties of the rhododendron bloom-which you've described better than I would have. There is so much interest, shadings and patterns in the rhododendron bloom, I don't feel the need to add anything. It stands on it's own. The Yellow Lily, on the other hand, looked like it needed a little dramatic effect.

Again, I try and post as large an image as I can, but I can't post an image that is 13" x 19" which, would give you a good look as to what I'm "seeing"

Thanks for the comments.

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Old Jul 15, 2012, 7:28 PM   #8
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It's great, nice detail.
Thanks James
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Old Jul 15, 2012, 10:49 PM   #9
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Have you tried the same process using CS6's image-staking process? That's what I used last year when I tried a few of those. No doubt a dedicated program like Helicon probably is more powerful, and I'm guessing you were indoors when you shot these, or it was really, really still outside as you shot your stack of images! The effect is really cool.
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Old Jul 16, 2012, 5:03 AM   #10
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Have you tried the same process using CS6's image-staking process? That's what I used last year when I tried a few of those. No doubt a dedicated program like Helicon probably is more powerful, and I'm guessing you were indoors when you shot these, or it was really, really still outside as you shot your stack of images! The effect is really cool.
Hi Greg,
Thanks.

You're correct as this was one instance where I did shoot indoors and used a spot light at the upper right for added lighting.

And no, I haven't used the CS6 filter-I admit to ignorance on that.

As an aside, I did shoot the yellow lily outside and while the air was fairly still,
it did limit the number of shots I could use as the leaves moved ever so slightly.

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