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Passion Flower

By paulbroad  
This is a result from focus stacking with Helicon software. It seems passable and is from about 12 frames, but I had far, far more failures. The flower was not moving and I used a Canon EOS 40D with Sigma 105mm EX Macro on a calibrated focus slide moving the lens forward 1mm for each shot.

Exposure ring flash, manual focus starting at font of bloom. I tried both the recommended method by moving the full camera assembly for each shot, then also tried keeping the camera in one place and refocusing for each shot. This is by refocusing, not the recommended way.

I also had trouble with movement on shutter release and had to use an external release. The tripod is a good sturdy unit.

I also now note from my own EXIF that this is from a sequence I tried on aperture priority. Something I would not have normally done for macro, yet it appears the best result. Baffling!

Any advice or comment?


Tags: Focus Passion Macro Ringflash Close-up and macro Stack Flowerclose

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dudler Plus
18 1.7k 1877 England
7 Aug 2016 4:48PM
This puts me in mind of Arthur C Clarke's 'Rendezvous with Rama' - it's easy to forget the scale and see a massive alien spaceship.

Seeding the stars?

Fascinating in terms of technique - it demonstrates three things, at least;

1 macro is hard work;
2 doing it right really makes a difference;
3 not al lthe rules are always right!

Thank you for posting this, Paul, and thereby setting a benchmark for quality. You may be asked for more on the how... Pictures of the setup may be helpful.
paulbroad 14 131 1293 United Kingdom
8 Aug 2016 7:49AM
I'll see what I can do, John. My set up should work, but it is making it do that! Things become expensive too. My gear has been built up over many years and much of the bits and pieces can be bought more cheaply than makers stuff and works just as well.

Macro is not easy and it depends what the image is for. Just being pleasing is a good reason and quality is then not paramount. It is still important. Technical records must be of extremely high quality which leads into the impossible sequence of exposure, focusing, and depth of field. getting all three right is not easy at all.

By the way, have read RAMA and most of Arthur C's books, He's good.

dudler Plus
18 1.7k 1877 England
8 Aug 2016 6:42PM
Thanks, Paul. There are a proportion of people here who are pretty well informed, and want to be more so: and you genuinely do this stuff rather well. Crucially, too, you have the methodical mind to set the steps out logically!
pablophotographer 10 1.9k 411
9 Aug 2016 6:57PM
Hi Paul.
I can not know why you have included a part of a leaf on the left. Although I do not find it inappropriate to be there (that's nature for us) I am not keen on seeing just a part of the leaf not the whole.. Aesthetically it doesn't work for me. But, I guess the inclusion was inevitable so as the purple ''helix'' centre of the flower being in a position that satisfies the rule of thirds. I see a sacrifice of the edges of the flower on the right periphery and I am saddened that a humble green leaf ''stole'' space in the frame instead of these blue petal edges. In most cases the photographer who fires the shutter has made a clear decision for the frame they want, this is their very personal way of ''seeing'' the scene, And it's history once it is shot. Of course history can be explained by people in a different way,
Arriving to something that looks as a square frame in my mod was not my initial goal. I wanted to present the frame without the leaf on the left. Soon I noticed this diagonal correlation from the top left corner of the modified frame to the bottom right corner of the frame with the helix and the stem just behind it following this route to a final end similar to a full stop at the end of a sentence. That looked nice to me. Composed and contained.
I suspect you have a picture of the flower looking at it ''head on'';
The colour combinations and the shapes would look great.
21 Jan 2020 10:20PM
What lighting flashgun did you use?, I assume a ringflash since the lighting here is very even?

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