Damselfly Panorama

I like using a few different camera systems depending on what I am shooting. Or more likely, what I want to carry & lug around. If I am at a location working near the car, that is not usually a problem. But sometimes I just like walking around, but still want to photograph some interesting subjects that I might come across. Here I am using one of my m43 camera bodies with an adapted old style Canon FD 200mm Macro lens. On m43 cameras it is sort of equivalent (in easy terms) of using a 400mm macro an a full frame body. Instead of going to 1X magnification, because of the crop factor of the m43 system the FOV (Field Of View) is ~2X. This is a 3 image panorama. Luckily the Damsel co-operated for me.

Damselfly GH+200mmFD_1200727

Damselfly – Single Image


Damselfly 4img (overlapping) Focus Stack

Snail Macro

When I was leaving to go to work, I noticed this tiny snail on the edge of the front door frame. It was smaller than a 1/4” long. I went back in and got a 100mm macro lens and shot a series of images at f/2.8 for a focus stack. I had to do this because I was using available light and did not want to push my ISO over 1250 ISO. Using a series of images for the focus stack letting Photoshop select the sharpest sections of each frame and merged them together for a final image. It was 5 am so it was pretty dark. I rested the front edge of the lens on the edge of the door frame and shot a series of focus points. Then let Photoshop do the rest.

Day Lily 4 Shot Panorama & Focus Stacking

I used 4 photos shot at different focus points and narrow depth of field to get a soft background along with sharp detail on my flower subjects. Shot with a handheld Sigma 150mm macro lens @ f/5.6. Assembled in Photoshop for both the blending of images and then the panorama.

Slaty Skimmer Wing Detail

We saw many types of Dragonflies while we were at the Davidson Mill Pond Park. Here are images of a Slaty Skimmer Dragonfly. The featured image shows the wing detail where the 4 wings attach to the Thorax. These dragonflies are usually a little under 2 inches long. This is 2 stacked images, focused on the head and then on the thorax. Combined in Photoshop for more depth of field. 300mm f/4 lens with a 1.6x Canon cropped body and 1.4x teleconverter (approx 672mm in full frame equivalence).

SlatyBlue_Dragonfly_v1 4img_stk_DM_7_!&

Same Dragonfly as above, three images, photographed at three different focus points along the Dragonfly. Head, thorax and tip of tail. Assembled in Photoshop for more sharpness on the dragonfly, but trying to keep the background softer since it was quite close behind the dragon.

Now I have to find something with feathers to post!

Dandelion Short Stack

I was looking for some photo subjects in the yard after a light rain and found this weathered dandelion with a few tiny raindrops on it. It was open on top so I could see more into the center. I shot a short series of focused images for what I wanted in focus, wide open at f/2.8 with a 150mm macro lens. Four images, aligned, stacked and combined in Photoshop. I used f/2.8 instead of stopping down more to get a clean looking background and used image stacking to get what I wanted in a limited focus range, while keeping the smooth looking background I wanted.

Dandelion 4img stk v2

4-images stacked in CC 2017 Photoshop, 150mm macro



Cone Flower – Echinacea 7 Image Stacks

A few different views of the Echinacea. My favorite lenses for macro above 1X are either the Canon MPE-65mm (1X-5X) plus crop factors depending on the camera body I am using or a m4/3 camera body using an older Canon FD 200mm f/4 macro lens with a m4/3 adapter. This will get me up to 2X on a m/43 body. It is easier to use than the MPE-65 and will also focus to infinity. Plus it is like using a 400mm lens on a m43 body, but with the depth of field of a 200mm lens. Also being mirrorless, I see a bright image in the viewfinder with the sharpness of the f/ stop I am using. Also I can see if I need +/- exposure compensation right in the viewfinder. Somehow, I like looking at things Really Close up. Has a totally different look and feel to what you are photographing. Even everyday objects, such as a common feather or a leaf takes on a totally different look. Then if you use focus stacking, you can greatly increase the overall sharpness & depth of field of your subject. Certain subjects can be a challenge, such as a dandelion going to seed. Or a dragonfly that might move even a tiny bit.

Echinacea stk end_1370720 v3

Dandelion Closeups with Multiple Focus Stacked Images

Dandelion stacked images are tough to get with everything in focus because of all the fine feathery elements in the Dandelion and the total depth from front to back. These are not perfect but were still fun to do. Some are shot with more of a concentration on the front half. I should also make a wind break so the subject is not moving with even a slight breeze. Also gives me an excuse to not have a weed free yard!

dandelion v6 b

Dandelion_1310331 set

Dandelion stack v5


dandelion v6 b

Dandelion v1_1310355 no stack

1 image – non stacked image


%d bloggers like this: