October 25, 2014, 08:57:20 AM

Author Topic: first attempts at macro stacking, let's see some stuff. (beginners only please)  (Read 6703 times)

gnl.weirdness

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Went out with the cam and the 100mm today, had the tripod this time, to play with some focus stacking.

Nothing special done, tripod + 3-8 shots at varying focus + adobe automatic align and blend + lightroom for exposure/contrast/clarity adjustments.

The 100mm f2.8l is hands down the best piece of glass I have ever shot with... Anyone on the fence, don't think just buy.

Would love thoughts/comments. No flash was used, just natural light.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2014, 12:23:38 PM by gnl.weirdness »

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Menace

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Re: first attempt at stacking macro shots :: )
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2014, 01:59:05 AM »
Well done - do show us some more :)

Here is one of mine - natural light and processed same as your image. 5 shots.
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gnl.weirdness

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Re: first attempt at stacking macro shots :: )
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2014, 01:59:35 PM »
Here is the other one, it was too big so it didn't upload. Heading back out shortly to play around some more now that I have seen the initial results :: )

Have some Kenko tubes in the mail as well yayayayaya.

« Last Edit: May 14, 2014, 02:13:21 PM by gnl.weirdness »

AcutancePhotography

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Re: first attempt at stacking macro shots :: )
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2014, 10:00:51 AM »
There is an add-on to lightroom called "enfuse"  I use that for both focus stacking and exposure stacking and have been very happy with the results.

Just beware, focus stacking can be addictive.   ;D  You may find yourself using focus stacking in non-macro situations.  LoL
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gnl.weirdness

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Re: first attempt at stacking macro shots :: )
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2014, 11:36:17 AM »
Nice, I will check it out. PS is making some VERY large tif files ahahaha.

And yeah I am working on stacking with water and astro as well. Nothing worthwhile yet from those though.

Marsu42

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Re: first attempt at stacking macro shots :: )
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2014, 06:11:51 AM »
Here is one of mine - natural light and processed same as your image. 5 shots.

How did you people manage for the animal to remain stationary while doing the focus stack?
« Last Edit: May 16, 2014, 06:19:36 AM by Marsu42 »

Menace

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Re: first attempt at stacking macro shots :: )
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2014, 07:11:19 AM »
Here is one of mine - natural light and processed same as your image. 5 shots.

How did you people manage for the animal to remain stationary while doing the focus stack?

Well I had to do about 6 different sets of photos as it was outdoors, with a bit of breeze and on top of that the caterpillar was moving!

Focusing had to be very quick, timed between a lul in wind and whilst it stopped for a moment.

I suppose one needs a lot of patience and quick focusing ability :)

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Re: first attempt at stacking macro shots :: )
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2014, 07:11:19 AM »

wsmith96

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Re: first attempt at stacking macro shots :: )
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2014, 07:34:18 AM »
Nice shots.  I've read about focus stacking, but have never tried it.  Can you use PSE for stacking, or is the align functions only in photoshop?
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gnl.weirdness

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Re: first attempt at stacking macro shots :: )
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2014, 12:20:11 PM »
Here is one of mine - natural light and processed same as your image. 5 shots.

How did you people manage for the animal to remain stationary while doing the focus stack?

Well I had to do about 6 different sets of photos as it was outdoors, with a bit of breeze and on top of that the caterpillar was moving!

Focusing had to be very quick, timed between a lul in wind and whilst it stopped for a moment.

I suppose one needs a lot of patience and quick focusing ability :)


Marsu,

it's like Menace said, you need to focus pull quickly. I did everything in auto settings which I would not recommend, this was more just learning how to stack than try to get an epic shot. But yeah, your subject will most likely move and that seems to just be the nature of the game with stacking bugs/plants. Patience is your friend, i.e. willingness to set the tripod up perfectly only to find your subject decided to peace out while doing so ahahaha.


gnl.weirdness

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Re: first attempt at stacking macro shots :: )
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2014, 12:22:39 PM »
Nice shots.  I've read about focus stacking, but have never tried it.  Can you use PSE for stacking, or is the align functions only in photoshop?

wsmith,

I am not sure as I have not use PSE before, but there is only one way to find out. Set yourself up with some layers (any random photos should work), select all the layers, then look under edit for "auto align layers". Once that is done, still with all layers selected hit "auto blend", also found under edit.

Hope that helps. If you get some shots post em up :: )

Marsu42

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Re: first attempt at stacking macro shots :: )
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2014, 05:08:09 PM »
i.e. willingness to set the tripod up perfectly only to find your subject decided to peace out while doing so ahahaha.

Indeed... but my question had a certain background: Afaik most really good macro (stacks) of insects are done with the animals frozen, tied down or simply killed... with these subjects, the viewer cannot tell the difference except wonder however the photog managed to set up the beautiful lighting and persuaded the animal to cooperate.

This is (one of) the reason I seldom do insect macros these days, it's fun for recreation, but what good is crawling through the woods and chasing butterflies and dragonflies if catching and killing them produces the better shots? My stacks are usually of mushrooms, they only grow outdoors, you cannot farm most of the at home and you can integrate the surrounding so you see it's actually outdoors :-o

gnl.weirdness

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Re: first attempt at stacking macro shots :: )
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2014, 06:16:29 PM »
i.e. willingness to set the tripod up perfectly only to find your subject decided to peace out while doing so ahahaha.

Indeed... but my question had a certain background: Afaik most really good macro (stacks) of insects are done with the animals frozen, tied down or simply killed... with these subjects, the viewer cannot tell the difference except wonder however the photog managed to set up the beautiful lighting and persuaded the animal to cooperate.

This is (one of) the reason I seldom do insect macros these days, it's fun for recreation, but what good is crawling through the woods and chasing butterflies and dragonflies if catching and killing them produces the better shots? My stacks are usually of mushrooms, they only grow outdoors, you cannot farm most of the at home and you can integrate the surrounding so you see it's actually outdoors :-o


Marsu,

I know some people do that, but I would never dare... I think half the fun of it for me is in trying to spend enough time to get an image of a bug just on its daily grind. I understand your disappointment with the shittier method for sure, but not quite sure why your turned off to macro of bugs entirely as a result. You can 100% capture incredible photos without staging anything, I think the first one I posted is a prime example.

I had ZERO background in macro or stacking. I spent maybe 5-10 minutes on google, and maybe a total of 2-3 mins getting the photos themselves. Editing/stacking was maybe another 10 mins tops...

I'd say give it another go :: )

Menace

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Re: first attempt at stacking macro shots :: )
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2014, 06:27:23 PM »
i.e. willingness to set the tripod up perfectly only to find your subject decided to peace out while doing so ahahaha.

Indeed... but my question had a certain background: Afaik most really good macro (stacks) of insects are done with the animals frozen, tied down or simply killed... with these subjects, the viewer cannot tell the difference except wonder however the photog managed to set up the beautiful lighting and persuaded the animal to cooperate.

This is (one of) the reason I seldom do insect macros these days, it's fun for recreation, but what good is crawling through the woods and chasing butterflies and dragonflies if catching and killing them produces the better shots? My stacks are usually of mushrooms, they only grow outdoors, you cannot farm most of the at home and you can integrate the surrounding so you see it's actually outdoors :-o


Marsu,

I know some people do that, but I would never dare... I think half the fun of it for me is in trying to spend enough time to get an image of a bug just on its daily grind. I understand your disappointment with the shittier method for sure, but not quite sure why your turned off to macro of bugs entirely as a result. You can 100% capture incredible photos without staging anything, I think the first one I posted is a prime example.

I had ZERO background in macro or stacking. I spent maybe 5-10 minutes on google, and maybe a total of 2-3 mins getting the photos themselves. Editing/stacking was maybe another 10 mins tops...

I'd say give it another go :: )

I know one photographer who puts his insects in the fridge just long enough for their metabolism to slow down to a point where they are almost asleep - and then shoots them.
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Re: first attempt at stacking macro shots :: )
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2014, 06:27:23 PM »

tolusina

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Lens max magnification specification, 0.18x.
Calculated magnification, 0.68x.
Tethered to an ASUS MeMO Pad FHD 10 (Andriod 4.3). Focus limits, steps and control by DSLR Controller.
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Composites were stacked from the RAW .CR2 files, automated with Helicon Focus, saved as tiff, converted to jpg, cropped.
 
10 frames at f2.8, failure is obvious.
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tolusina

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Canon 6D,
Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM lens
20mm Kenko extension tube.
Lens max magnification specification, 0.18x.
Calculated magnification, 0.68x.
Tethered to an ASUS MeMO Pad FHD 10 (Andriod 4.3). Focus limits, steps and control by DSLR Controller.
Gitzo, RRS, Acratech support.
 
Composites were stacked from the RAW .CR2 files, automated with Helicon Focus, saved as tiff, converted to jpg, cropped.
 
12 frames at f11, better.
40 on 6

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