Posted on June 28, 2022
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!
Category: Blog, Canon 1.4X Teleconverter, Canon 1D MkIV, Canon 7D, Closeup Photography, Dragonflies, dragonfly, Equipment, Favorite Locations, Focus Stacking, Focus Stacking Images, Image Stacking, Panorama & Stacked Images, Uncategorized, yard & pond Tagged: Better Beamer Flash Extender, Canon 1D MkIV, Canon Teleconverters Canon Extension Tubes, dragonfly, Dragonfly closeups, dragonfly photography, extension tubes, fill flash, image blending, image focus stacking, Image Stacking, image stacking with photoshop, Stacking Teleconverters, Twelve-spotted Skimmer
Posted on June 22, 2021
Another Dragonfly image from our walk at the Audubon Plainsboro Preserve. The featured image is made from 2 images shot with a 300mm lens with a 1.4X Teleconverter @ f/8. I usually shoot my series of images starting at the head and work my way back down the body. I would have shot 1 more image for the tail but it flew off before I could get that shot.
Posted on August 24, 2020
I was looking in our gardens for Praying Mantises to photograph. I found 2 fairly large ones on two different plants. The featured image is 7 images, focus stacked in Photoshop. I was using a 300mm lens with a 2x teleconverter. When doing focus stacking with live subjects you have to photograph your series of images quickly, because you can touch-up slight movement of your subject, but if there is a lot of movement it makes the blending of images much harder.
Posted on August 2, 2020
It was very hot outside to go to a park, so I was looking for subjects in our gardens. There were a few Eastern Amberwing Dragonflies but they seemed very wary of my camera. Finally, after a while, they seemed to tolerate my presence so I was able to get some interesting shots. They are some of the smallest dragonflies, only a little under an inch long. So you have to get pretty close to get detailed images.
Category: Blog, Dragonflies, Favorite Locations, Image Stacking, Insects, Panorama & Stacked Images, Photo Tips, Stacked Images, yard & pond Tagged: canon 300mm f/4 lens, Canon 7D, Canon Series III 1.4X Teleconverter, Eastern Amberwing, Eastern Amberwing Dragonfly, Focus Stacking, image focus stacking, Male Eastern Amberwing dragonfly, photoshop focus stacking
Posted on July 29, 2020
Usually we have a few different types of Dragonflies in our yard. But this Summer we have only had Amberwing Dragonflies around. But they were very skittish and very small, so I did not get any good images of them. When I was out looking in our garden for other Praying Mantises I noticed a female Blue Dasher on our Dogwood tree in the front yard. I finally had an interesting Dragonfly in our yard that was very tolerant of being photographed. It was on one of the Dogwood Bracts basically at almost eye level. I was using a 300mm f/4 lens with a 1.4x teleconverter on a Canon 7D. It would take off, fly around then return to the same spot on the Dogwood. I was able to shift my position to get backgrounds in the shade and in the sun. I also was able to try different f/stops and a few image stacks. The featured shot I was at f/11 for more depth of field (so I did not have to do a focus stack) with a sunlit background.
Category: Blog, Dragonflies, Equipment, Favorite Locations, Focus Stacking, Insects, Nature Still Lifes, Panorama & Stacked Images, Stacked Images, Tips & Techniques, yard & pond Tagged: Blue Dasher Dragonfly, canon 300mm f/4 IS lens, Canon 7D, Canon Series III 1.4X Teleconverter, Female Blue Dasher, Female Blue Dasher Dragonfly, Focus Stacking, image focus stacking
Posted on July 23, 2020
A series of focus stacked Lily images, taken with a Sigma f/2.8, 150mm macro lens with a Canon 1.4x teleconverter. With the Canon 1.4x Teleconverter my maximum aperture was f/4 and 210mm focal length. The featured image was a closer view, so I shot 9 focus-stacked images taken with the Sigma 150mm macro @ f/4 with a 1.4x Canon Teleconverter. I wanted to shoot a series of focus stacked images at 2 different apertures to show the difference in the number of images needed for acceptable sharpness across the main subject. So it is a matter of deciding what effect you want in your image before you start photographing.
For comparison the wider open you choose for your aperture, the more images you need in your series of focus stacked images. These were handheld, so the f/8 series was a little farther away, but you can get the idea of what I am trying to show. The more you stop down your f/stop, the less images you will need for a focus stacked image. But the more you stop down, the “busier” your backgrounds become.
Posted on June 18, 2020
This Damselfly image is made from 12 handheld images, focused at 12 different points along the body of a Female Lily Pad Forktail Damselfly. Images shot with a Sigma 150mm macro lens @ f/4 to keep the background smooth and uncluttered looking. I loaded the 12 images into one layered Photoshop and let Photoshop blend the sharpest elements from each layer together for the final image.
Category: Blog, Damselflies, Favorite Locations, Focus Stacking, Image Stacking, Uncategorized, yard & pond Tagged: Female Damselfly, female Lily Pad Forktail Damselfly, Focus Stacking, image focus stacking, Image Stacking, photoshop focus stacking, photoshop tips, Sigma 150mm f/2.8 macro, using wide open apertures for smooth backgrounds
Posted on May 11, 2020
I am still going through images from past shoots. This is another series of closeup raindrops, focus stacked from front drops to further back in the bush they were on. I was using an Olympus m43 body with an old 200mm Canon FD manual focus macro lens with a m43 adapter. This gives me a FOV (field of view) equivalent to 400mm on a Full Frame Digital Camera. I usually start from the front in focus and then do a series of focus points going back to where I want to end. The featured image is 11 images @ f/8. I load all into layers in Photoshop, then let Photoshop blend all the sharpest areas into one file.
Category: Abstracts, Blog, Closeup Photography, Favorite Locations, Macro Photography, Panorama & Stacked Images, Photo Tips, Stacked Images, Tips & Techniques, Uncategorized, yard & pond Tagged: Canon FD 200mm f/4 macro, Canon FD 200mm macro on m43 cameras, Controlling Depth of Field by using Focus Stacking, Focus Stacking, image focus stacking, nature, Olympus OM-D, rain drops
Posted on April 11, 2020
WARNING _ LONG POST!!
Being we are not supposed to be out and about, especially here in NJ, I thought these images would give some an inspiration to see what you can find interesting to photograph in their own yards or close to home. You can post yours so we can see what is happening in others areas. They closed all the Parks and other outdoor spaces here and limit travel basically only for food & essentials. They are even limiting the amount of people in the stores. So here are some macro images I have taken in my own yards over the years with different types of cameras and lenses. I tend to use a variety of cameras, lenses & different types of m43 and Canon Cameras. Many times for macro images I adapt older Canon FD manual focus lenses on my m43 Panasonic or Olympus Cameras. Doing this I get an approximate FOV of 2X on these manual focus lenses plus get a longer working distance to my subjects and with increased depth of field (in simple terms). It is fun to see what you can come up with. The featured Damselfly image is taken with a Canon FD 200mm f/4 macro lens on a m43 camera. My most used FD macro is the 200mm because it gives me a longer working distance to my subjects. The following sampler of macro images are with both m43 Cameras and Full Frame Canon Cameras for an interesting Macro Mix.
Category: Blog, Damselflies, Dragonflies, Equipment, Gardens, Insects, Macro Photography, Nature Still Lifes, Panorama & Stacked Images, Panoramas, spiders, Stacked Images, Tips & Techniques, yard & pond Tagged: Bugs, Canon 50mm Macro, FD Canon 200mm f/4 macro lens, Flower, image focus stacking, Image stack. image stacking, image stacking with photoshop, m43 camera, Macro, Macro Photography, nature, Sigma 150mm f/2.8 macro, Yard Photo Subjects
Posted on August 31, 2019
While we were looking for Dragonflies at Plainsboro Preserve I noticed this Red-Spotted Purple butterfly warming on the ground. I was using a close focusing 300mm f/4 lens with a 2X teleconverter so I could get closer images of distant insect subjects (usually Dragonflies) so I manually focused on 3 different areas to blend them into 1 sharp image in Photoshop. Using f/4 for my f/stop (with a 2X teleconverter it is actually f/8 then with the 2X teleconverter giving a 600mm focal length) and focused on middle body, then antennas and lastly rear wing edge. I used to mainly use a 1.4X teleconverter for this type of shooting but the Canon R files are extremely clean even at much higher ISO’s so the 2X gives me more working distance. Then used Photoshop to blend the sharpest areas automatically into 1 merged image. Photoshop usually does a good job on this, but here in there I might also do some manual editing to what Photoshop does. To bad it is getting late in the season for butterflies & insects. They are beginning to show signs of wear. Especially the Dragonflies!
Category: Blog, Favorite Locations, Insects, Panorama & Stacked Images, Plainsboro Preserve, Tips & Techniques Tagged: Audubon Plainsboro Preserve, Butterfly, Butterflys, canon 300mm f/4 IS lens, canon R camera, Canon Series 2X teleconverter, image blending, image focus stacking, Image Stacking, image stacking wit photoshop cc, Plainsboro Preserve, Red-Spotted Purple Butterfly