Posted on August 7, 2021
I was looking for a Praying Mantis in our gardens to photograph when this male Blue Dasher dragonfly landed on a branch by our carport. Not a great background but decided to photograph it anyway since I did not see any other interesting bugs. To minimize detail in the background carport siding I chose f/8 to minimize the carport detail. Since I was @ f/8 I shot a handheld series of images to retain detail on the dragonfly. I shot 3 images to focus stack on the dragonfly from wingtip to wingtip, then a 3 image series head to tail. After the main image stack, I moved in closer & closer for a few different closer versions since it seemed to be tolerating my being there.
Category: Blog, canon R, Closeup Photography, Dragonflies, dragonfly, Equipment, Favorite Locations, Tips & Techniques Tagged: Blue Dasher, Blue Dasher Dragonfly, canon 1.4x teleconverter series III, canon 300mm f/4 IS lens, canon R camera, Focus Stacking, Focus stacking for more depth of field, Focus stacking for smoother cleaner backgrounds, Focus stacking for specific detail & sharpness, focus stacking in Photoshop, Male Blue Dasher Dragonfly
Posted on October 19, 2020
The featured image is a stacked multi-image, multi-row Praying Mantis panorama. This was the last Praying Mantis I photographed in our gardens this year. We had quite a few throughout the summer, but this was the largest Mantis I photographed this year. The featured image is 8 images, shot in 3-multi-rows of overlapping images. I managed getting 3 images for the top row, 3 images for middle row & only 2 images for the bottom row before it moved. I was shooting handheld with a 300mm lens @ f/5.6 for a softer, smoother background since I wanted a blurred background not showing details of the flowers & siding on the house. I concentrated my focus on the head and front legs and so the yellow flowers behind the Mantis gave a bright pop of interesting color.
Category: Blog, Closeup Photography, Favorite Locations, Focus Stacking, Image Stacking, Nature Still Lifes, Panorama & Stacked Images, Panoramas, Stacked Images, Tips & Techniques, yard & pond Tagged: canon 300mm f/4 IS lens, Canon 7D, Focus Stacking, Focus stacking for more depth of field, Focus stacking for smoother cleaner backgrounds, focus stacking in Photoshop, handheld panorama, Panorama tips, photoshop panoramas, Praying Mantis, Praying Mantis Paorama
Posted on September 11, 2020
After a rain it is fun to go out in the gardens to photograph raindrops. To get more Depth of Field (sharper focus across the image) and still have a smoother background, I use Focus Stacking techniques. I usually use f/8 or f/11, but it depends on how many images I want in my Focus Stack and how soft a background I want. The more wide open your f/stop, the more Focus Points you will need to add to the series of images. The Featured Image was 10 images taken with a 150mm Sigma macro lens @ f/8 on a Canon R. Images were loaded into 1 Layered Photoshop file and then let Photoshop align the 10 layers. (Edit-Auto Align Layers). After aligning the layers, choose Auto-Blend Layers to let Photoshop blend the sharpest sections from each layer into the final image. This Layer will be on the top of the layered Photoshop file. You will see the masked layers below the final showing the sharpest sections Photoshop masked and blended for the final layer on top. I usually save this layered file in case I need to go in and do a slight touch up here or there. Start with a 3 or 4 layered stack to help get the feel for doing this technique. Once you have done a few you will get the technique down and see what f/stops or how many layers work best for your imaging style. Also the amount of layers depends on how much of the image you want to be in sharp focus.
Category: Blog, Closeup Photography, Flowers, Focus Stacking, Gardens, Image Stacking, Macro Photography, Nature Still Lifes, Panorama & Stacked Images, Photo Tips, Stacked Images, Tips & Techniques, yard & pond Tagged: canon R camera, Focus Stacking, Focus stacking for more depth of field, Focus stacking for smoother cleaner backgrounds, focus stacking in Photoshop, Image stacking for selecting sharp focus area, Sigma 150mm f/2.8 macro
Posted on July 22, 2020
I use this technique quite often for my multi-image focus stacked Dragonfly (or other subjects) images. Shooting @ f/5.6 or even f/8 to get smoother looking backgrounds around the dragonfly it is hard to get the wings & tail sharp. So I tend to quickly photograph 3 to 8 images of different focus areas on the dragonfly. Or even more depending on the position of the dragonfly or the size of the subject. In the beginning to get used to doing this technique shoot more focus point areas. You may not need them all, but you have them just in case. These images were shot with a Canon 300mm f/4 lens on a Canon 7d, handheld.
Select images for the focus stack and Load the files into 1 layered Photoshop file-
My Final Steps are to save the layered file. Then Flatten the layers if you need to do minor touch-ups here or there. Sometimes you will need to do a very slight touch-up or cloning, but nothing major.
These are also similar to doing Multi-Image Panoramas. Or try a combination of Image Stacks & Panoramas in the same file. So you can experiment with different effects. Comes in handy quite often when out in the field photographing. Cuts down on lugging a lot of lenses or even a tripod with you. Try it and let me know how you do! But if you like shooting with a tripod you can use the same steps with a tripod!
Category: Blackwater NWR, Cambridge MD, Blog, Closeup Photography, Dragonflies, Focus Stacking, Image Stacking, Nature Still Lifes, Panorama & Stacked Images, Panoramas, Photo Tips, Stacked Images, Tips & Techniques Tagged: Blue Dasher Dragonfly, focus stackimg, focus stacking in Photoshop, handheld focus stacking images in Photoshop, Handheld focus stacks, handheld panorama, handheld panoramas, Panoramas in Photoshop, photoshop effects, photoshop focus stacking, photoshop tips