Posted on July 2, 2020
Sometimes it is fun to go out in the yard or fields to see what subjects you can find close at home. I look to see if there are any interesting bugs to photograph. Usually I look for dragonflies, but any insects will do. Here are a series of Cucumber Beetles. I was using a Sigma 150mm macro lens with a 1.4x teleconverter on a Canon 7D. I also used a flash with diffusion to add some fill light to lighten the shadow areas to give a more even light on the images.
Posted on June 25, 2020
I was going through old backup drives cleaning out images to make more room and came across this odd bug image from years ago. Do not know what it is, but it is definitely different looking. Images taken with a Sigma 150mm macro with a Canon 1.4X teleconverter on a Canon 7D. I was also using some fill light in the shadows with a flash dialed down and more diffusion added to the flash head to just give a little more light on the subject as it was under the leaf.
Posted on June 22, 2020
A macro shot closeup of a wing section from a female Common Whitetail Dragonfly. Image taken with a Sigma 150mm macro lens @ f/14.
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 June 11, 2020
When I was photographing this Damselfly, I decided to shoot with the aperture wide open. I wanted a very smooth background to highlight the Damselfly and the water drops and keep a smooth background. So I shot a series of 8 images focusing on the Damselfly and the water drop covered stem. I shot a series focused on 8 different focus points, going from left to right. I was using a Sigma 150mm Macro with a 2x teleconverter. With the 2x teleconverter on my 150mm f/2.8 lens, my maximum (Aperture) f/stop was f/5.6 wide open. (With a 2x teleconverter you loose 2 stops). I loaded the 8 images into 1 Photoshop layered file and used Photoshop to automatically align the 8 layers in the file. Next I used Photoshop to automatically pick the the sharpest areas & soft background areas in each layer for the final image. I saved that file in case I need to make minor touch ups here or there. After that I flattened the layers for my final image.
Posted on May 12, 2020
After a heavy rain the other day I went out to see if I could find some interesting subjects with water drops to photograph. I wanted to use Image Stacking for more detail in the water drops and main subjects, but still have softer backgrounds. This is one of the first subjects I came upon. I was using a Sigma 150mm f/2.8 macro lens on a Canon R. These are all handheld because it was difficult to get the view I wanted using a tripod. The featured image is 13 images shot from left to right @ f/2.8. Each image in the panorama series is manually focused for the area needed in focus as I shot along the subject to keep a softer cleaner looking background.
Category: Blog, Favorite Locations, Focus Stacking, Gardens, Nature Still Lifes, Panorama & Stacked Images, Uncategorized, yard & pond Tagged: Bleeding Heart Flower, canon R, canon R camera, Focus Stacking, Focus stacking for more depth of field, Focus stacking for smoother cleaner backgrounds, Sigma 150mm f/2.8 macro, yard
Posted on April 16, 2020
Quite often I use Image Stacking techniques for my macro images. This works best if you are using a longer macro lens for shallower depth of field & softer cleaner backgrounds. I shot with the lens wide open and take images starting from the closest area I want in focus & ending where I want the background to go softer. The image I chose for this blog is one I photographed years ago. It was photographed using a tripod with a Sigma 150mm Macro lens & 1.4x Canon Teleconverter. I also went a little overboard on layers, but because I was using a 150mm lens with a 1.4x Teleconverter I shot more focus points than usual. I ended up with 44 images in this stack. But shooting @ f/2.8 & adding the 1.4x teleconverter it was actually f/4 (Wide Open). I started from the bottom of the image & worked my way up to the top. You can also not use all the layers if you want to select where the softness ends or begins. Here I purposely ended where I wanted it to end. You can also use a smaller aperture / larger f/stop number to use less images for the stack but I like the smoother background.
I then load all the images into one Photoshop layered file and select all layers.
A) Under Edit – chose Auto Align Layers
(B) then select Edit – Auto-Blend Layers – for final blending.
Below is Final Blended file on the top layer in Photoshop with all the sharpest sections of each Layer (masked) below the final layer.
I use this technique with my macro images mainly to get the greatest detail on my main subject and the softest backgrounds behind them. You can also control how much sharpness you have on your subject and where the softness starts. With practice the results get more reliable for what you are envisioning when you are photographing them. Also you can change your mind after you captured the series and have the detail or less detail where you want it while you are adjusting your files.
Category: Blog, Composites, Favorite Locations, Insects, Panorama & Stacked Images, Stacked Images, yard & pond Tagged: Canon Series III 1.4X Teleconverter, Damselfly, image stacked Damselfly, Image Stacking, Image stacking for selecting sharp focus area, Image stacking in Photoshop, Sigma 150mm f/2.8 macro
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 October 18, 2019
I am still going through images I photographed earlier in the Summer. The featured image is a panorama of a Praying Mantis in our garden at home. Using 3 images and assembled in Photoshop. It was a windy day so the flower it was on was blowing wildly in the wind. I had no way to stabilize the flower, so I was shooting bursts at a high shutter speed to hopefully get a sharp enough image and have the frames needed to blend together. I was shooting with a Sigma 150mm macro lens so the movement of the subject Mantis was all over in the frames. I was shooting bursts to hopefully get some in the frame and in focus and have enough to work with.
Posted on October 6, 2019
Sometimes it is fun to look for raindrops after a heavy rain storm. I tried during a light drizzle, but the camera was getting too wet. So I waited til the next morning after the heavy rain storm was over and the sun was out. I was using a Sigma 150mm macro lens for all images here. Also the images here are just single shots, except for two listed as a 2 image stacked panorama. It also helped there were webs in the bushes for the raindrops to land on.