2 – Twelve-Spotted Skimmer 5 Image Focus Stacks

I was going through my some of my back-up drives to clear up space for newer images. I am trying not to add even more drives that I have to deal with! As I was clearing up space I was finding interesting images that I have not posted here. These 2 images are of a Twelve-Spotted Skimmer dragonfly that was visiting my pond at my old home years ago. Both images are a series of 5 images focused at different points along the wings, tail & head. I used to use this technique when I could not get closer to my subject Dragonflies because they were out in the middle of my pond. I lowered my camera to look a little more up and to get a more colorful background on the Featured Image. I was using a Canon 7D with a 400mm DO lens with a Canon Flash with a Better Beamer Flash Extender to fill in more details on the Dragonfly. I was also using stacked Teleconverters with extension tubes in between so I only had a limited in-focus window. Arranging the Teleconverters & Extension Tubes in different orders or different size Extension Tubes gives you different zones of focus. So it takes a little practice to get used to using this technique for predictable results! The Dragonfly was 15.4 feet away (according to the Raw Data). The focused-stacked images were loaded into a Photoshop file and auto-aligned & auto-blended for the final images. The images of the Camera Setup showing the Extension Tubes & Teleconverters placement were on a Canon 1D MkIV. I did not have an image showing the 7D with this setup!

Twelve-Spotted Skimmer, 5 image stack with very close overlaps, 400mm DO, Fill-Flash w/ Better Beamer Flash Extender.
Camera Setup with Flash Extender & flash, Teleconverters & Extension Tubes (This was from a different day so camera here is a Canon 1D mk IV)
Camera Setup with Flash Extender, Teleconverters, Extension Tubes & Flash

11 Comments on “2 – Twelve-Spotted Skimmer 5 Image Focus Stacks

    • Thanks! Yes! It gets heavy, but it is on a tripod so it is easy to use once you get setup at your location to photograph! It gets Close with Great Detail for fairly far away dragonflies! Basically you work an area at a certain limited focus range and you photograph what flies into the space! The focus “window” also depends on the selection of teleconverters & extension tubes! Works well when your subject dragonfly is out in the water and you cannot get close without this setup on your camera!

    • Thanks Donna! Comes in handy for interesting dragons that you can not get close enough to photograph! Plus you get nice smooth backgrounds for your dragonfly images! You just have to do a series of focus points to get what you want in focus!

  1. Nice setup, Reed and great images. I was shooting today with the 100-400 doubled and the resulting damselfly images may or may not be presentable. They seem a bit soft unprocessed so we’ll see. It was windy, they were distant, and I bumped the ISO up to 1600 which contributed noise adding to the softness.

    • Thanks Steve! You could try adding a high-pass sharpening layer on top of the main layer of your dragonfly image. Then lower the opacity of that layer to bring out a little more detail & sharpness if needed. On my high pass layer I only do a rough feathered edge selection around the main subject dragonfly. Then lower the opacity where it does not look over-sharpened! Sometimes I use this just to “enhance” the details of my dragonfly details!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: