One of the backyard Nisse found a new mushroom. I don’t often see him out during the day. Composite of 24 focus stacked images taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 60mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 200, 60 mm, f/3, 1/640 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro, and the image stack processed with Helicon Focus.
It was too windy to take wildflower pictures outside, and was about to freeze overnight. So I cut six of the remaining wildflowers (Coreopsis, Cosmos, and Black-eyed Susan) and took them inside to shoot. The images were taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 60 mm f/2.8 macro lens. Slide show with 6 images.
The wildflower garden was successful last year, so I expanded it significantly this year. Some areas worked, others didn’t. The deer and rabbits nibbled at the edges, but left me enough to take a lot of pictures of the wildflowers. I needed to add an electric fence this year. I think my favorites have been the poppies where I tried many times to do time-lapsed videos of them opening in the morning. It will be interesting to see what comes back next spring. I also cleared two more large sections that will be seeded once the ground gets colder.
I have been using Helicon Focus to make composite focus stacked images for several years. It is great for doing macro images with much more depth of field than can be done with single images. I spent the day doing some focus stacked images on some small cactus flowers. The images were taken with a Nikon Df camera and 105 mm f/2.8 VR macro lens. The camera was set up on a tripod on with a linear tracking head. The first set was with 13 images, in 5 mm intervals — which wasn’t enough. The second set was 24 images over 9 cm. That one looked better. I then added a TCE-3 III teleconverter (converting the focal length to 210 mm). The camera was set closer and did 33 images over 9 cm. The slide-show below shows all of the images. It includes one image from each set at a single distance. To see the individual images check here
Wild Raspberry Cluster. Early Summer Backyard Nature in New Jersey.
I got up early this morning to drive to the High Point monument in northern New Jersey. It was raining when I left, but I hoped that it would clear up by the time I got there. Just the opposite — heavy rain when I got there. Furthermore, the front gate was still locked. I gave up and drove back the long route along the Delaware River. Because of the rain there was very little traffic. I’ve used up most of my vacation this year between the Patagonia workshop with Thom Hogan and the Central America & Panama Canal Enrichment Voyage – Nikonians Ultimate Travel Workshop with Michael Mariant. As such, I know that I am not going to be able to do a cross country road trip this year so it was good to get a long drive in this holiday weekend.
When I got home there was a lull in the rain and I saw that the wild raspberries were starting to ripen. In order to get an image of a cluster of the berries in focus with everything else out of focus I took a series of images using a focus rail to adjust the camera to subject distance over a 3 cm distance with a macro lens. I then used Helicon Focus to make a composite image from the 20 images. The first image is the result. The next three images are the first (front focus), mid (middle focus), and last (back focus) images. Even though there was some (not much) movement due to wind, Helicon Focus did a great job adjusting the images so all of the composite images were correctly registered.
I used the pink flower from yesterday as an exercise to practice with a macro lens, flash, and Helicon Focus to get a macro image of a flower with an extreme depth of field in focus. Ten images of the flower were taken from rear focus to front focus by manually adjusting the focus distance on the lens. The raw images were processed with Capture One Pro, converted to 16 bit Tiff files, and then processed with Helicon Focus. Even though the lens was set at f/22, the actual focus plane was very narrow and thus needing several focus distances for Helicon Focus.
Study using Helicon Focus. This is a composite of 30 stacked image where the focus was adjusted near to far using Helicon Remote and then combined using Helicon Focus. The images were aquired using a Nikon D3x and 5o mm f/1.4G (ISO 100, f/1.4, 1.3 sec) and ambiant light. Aprox. 5″ between nearest and farthest focus point, and the camera was about 24″ from the nearest focus point. The Helicon settings were mode B, radius 8, smoothing 4. Other settings increased the halo.
The Purple Crocuses have started blooming across the street. This is a good sign that spring is coming. In order to get a deeper depth of field (DOF) I took several images each with slightly different focus points, and then combined the images using Helicon Focus get the composite image. The focus range was just around the flowers, keeping the background leaves out of focus.