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
Posted on October 12, 2018
We enjoy walking along the paths at local parks and some go through the wooded areas. It is fun to look for little Photo Still Life images or Vignettes of natural details. It makes you look closer at what you are walking through. You never know what you will or can find. The only trouble is it is usually very dark for photographing my subjects. The featured image is a group of fungus on a tree trunk. I would usually use a tripod but on this walk I just had a 300mm lens so I raised my ISO to 6400 to get a high enough shutter speed even at f/4 for a sharp image in the tree covered woods. I shot 4 images, handheld, and focused on 4 different areas because I was shooting at f/4 to get the areas I wanted sharper and still get moody soft areas where I wanted. Then I aligned & assembled the 4 images in Photoshop for the final image.
Posted on August 14, 2018
We got to where we wanted on the Wildlife Drive to photograph the setting sun, but it was not as dramatic as we had hoped for. It was still fun to photograph and got a few good images. Then we moved a little closer, around the bend towards the straightaway to the exit. These are combinations of exposure blends for darks & lights for shadow detail and bright detail along with multi-images for size. I was using 2 cameras, one with a 24-105mm, the other with a 12-24mm. The featured image is at 105mm (5 images, blended). If you see any specks in the sky, they are birds flying through. After the sun went below the horizon we then headed back to the motel to rest up for sunrise the next day.
Category: Blackwater NWR, Blackwater NWR, Cambridge MD, Blog, Favorite Locations, Nature Still Lifes, Skyscapes & Clouds Tagged: Blackwater landscapes, blackwater National Wildlife refuge, Blackwater sunset., canon 24-105mm f/4 lens, HDR Images, image blending, Image Stacking, image stacking with photoshop, photoshop effects, Sigma 12-24mm
Posted on June 20, 2018
I liked the shape and curves of this plant. But I wanted a clean background, so I used a long lens but shot wide open so I had a soft clean green background. Also 3 overlapping images which I then assembled in Photoshop. I did not want to back up and get it in one shot because then I would also have more depth of field which means more background detail which I did not want. The closer you get with a long lens, the smoother the background when you shoot with the aperture wide open. I liked the curves and details on the plant and the arched shape. Shot with a close focusing 300mm lens @ f/4.
Posted on June 12, 2018
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.
Category: Abstracts, Blog, Composites, Flowers, Gardens, Nature Still Lifes, Panorama & Stacked Images, Photo Tips, Stacked Images, Uncategorized, yard & pond Tagged: day lilies, Day Lily, Focus Stacking, image blending, Panorama, panoramas, photoshop effects, photoshop panorama, photoshop tips
Posted on May 28, 2018
My second version of the Meeting House Image. This time a 4 image blend exposed for different sections, then combined in Photoshop. All at 24mm. I also tried 12mm, but the Meeting House looked too small in the frame. First I exposed for the brightly lit building. Then an exposure for the darker trees and foreground lawn. Then 2 exposures for the few stars that were visible at this angle. I used a technique of greatly over exposing the sky on one of these, then using levels in Photoshop to pull out a few more faint stars so they stood out more. Then combining those two layers. I also made a reverse mask of the bright building so I could replace the area around the building steeple with the dark sky with stars and darker trees. Then I manually layered and masked my layers to where I liked all the elements of the image so they looked like it was somewhat balanced.
The exposure for the stars was 30 seconds, the longest time so not to show movement. But being in NJ, I had to try a few times because a jet would fly through and leave a streak of light from the lights on the wings. Which in some ways looked interesting, but not what I was after. But it is New Jersey with constant planes going overhead, so maybe I will add it later.
Category: Blog, Composites, Favorite Locations, Landscapes, Panorama & Stacked Images, Photo Tips, Skies and Clouds, Slideshow, Stacked Images, yard & pond Tagged: blending, blending images, Image Stacking, image stacking wit photoshop cc, Landscape, Montages, Night sky, Night Sky Photography, Photoshop, photoshop effects
Posted on May 27, 2018
This is a 4 Image vertical panorama of the Meeting House in the condo community we live in now. It is a multi-use building for the whole community and it reminds me of areas I used to like to photograph in New England when our children were small. They liked Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts among others. I tried a variety of ways to photograph this building to see which way I liked it best plus it gave me an opportunity to practice or try different effects and combinations.
For this image I shot 4 images, handheld, vertically at 24mm. I used a lot of overlap on each image because I was shooting at 24mm (vertically). It helps having a lot of overlap in the images when using a 24mm, it seems like Photoshop handles it better and you get less “distortion” in the combining of the separate images.
On this version the clouds were amazing, so I continued up to include a lot of clouds & sky.
It seems like the more you do of these panoramas the more you learn and have a higher success rate. Also if you are just walking around and traveling “light” with just one lens, it gives you more options for photo subjects.
Category: Blog, Composites, Favorite Locations, Landscapes, Panorama & Stacked Images, Photo Tips, Skyscapes & Clouds, Studio, Tips & Techniques, yard & pond Tagged: 24mm, canon 24-105mm, Landscape, landscapes, panoramas, Photoshop, photoshop effects, photoshop panoramas, stacked panoramas
Posted on January 22, 2018
We were taking a walk at the Davidsons Mill Pond Park to get some fresh air. It has been bitterly cold lately here in New Jersey so it was nice to able to get out and walk. It got to 50 degrees but had very strong winds. Much better than being in the minus numbers. I took a camera with me, just to see what I could find. I saw this tree stump and the little branch on it looked like an arm and the top looked like a mouth and an ear to the right. Or maybe I was just trying to find something to photograph and saw it this way. Anyway I thought it was an interesting subject.
Posted on January 6, 2018
While I was photographing at Ding Darling NWR in Sanibel, FL, this Great Egret flew by where I was photographing White Pelicans. It flew in front of me from left to right. As I was adjusting my files I thought it would make an interesting image showing the different wing positions as it flew by. I did not have the camera set at a high frame rate, but I thought it was still interesting.
In Camera Raw I selected the whole series, made my adjustments and opened them in Photoshop, each on its own layer in the original file. I selected the blue background and inversed the selection to select the Egret on each one. I made a new file that would fit them all in horizontally. I selected a blue sky color from the first of the series and a blue sky color from the last of the series and graduated the color from left to right for the background sky. Then added a slight bit of noise into the sky.
Now that I had my sky background, I went back to each Egret image and selected the layer of each Egret and put that Egret image in a new layer, in sequence to show the wing position sequences. If I was at a higher frame rate I would have gotten more wing positions, but I still had fun putting it together.
Posted on June 19, 2017
After it rained again, I went out looking for rain drops. This time I used an old manual Canon FD 200mm f/4 macro with a m43 adapter on a Panasonic m43 camera body. The old FD lenses work well on the m43 cameras. Plus I have quite a few left from the film days. Makes it, sort of in easy terms, a 400mm f/4 macro in Full Frame Digital thinking on the m43 format, with the depth of field of a 200mm. There are more exacting ways to figure out the exact focal length, f/stop, and depth of field, but it is easier to just double the focal length and be close. Also unless you know the exact focal length of the lens, not what it is listed as, you are going to be wrong in the first place. Most lenses are not the focal length they are listed at, the true focal length is a little shorter usually from what they describe them as. Especially Telephoto Lenses. Also in the Electronic viewfinder, you see the depth of field you are achieving live. Stopping down the lens, you see your depth of field. There has been a lot of debates on lens conversions on m43 cameras, but it is not worth the effort to me.
The above aligned images are showing the manipulation of the areas of the start and last images using Auto-Align. Next when you choose Auto Blend, Photoshop will remove areas from each layer not used, usually the out of focus areas, selecting the areas more in focus and blending all into an image and placing it on the top layer above the other layers.
Sometimes it works very well, sometimes Photoshop just cannot handle it. Or they might need a little touchup here or there. There are other programs that might be better, but I am just doing these for fun and I am used to using PhotoShop.
Category: Blog, Favorite Locations, Macro Photography, Panorama & Stacked Images, Photo Tips, Tips & Techniques, Uncategorized, yard & pond Tagged: Canon FD 200mm f/4 macro, Image Stacking, image stacking wit photoshop cc, m43 camera, m43 panasonic, photo tips, photoshop effects, rain drops