Saturday (07-July-2018) — New Jersey

Backyard Summertime Nature in New Jersey.

Flowers – more experiments with focus bracketing and focus stacking. Yellow Moth Mullen, Dianthus (Pink, Telstar, Picotee?), Pale Purple (unknown), and a large Yellow Zucchini flower. This time I used a tripod for the camera, but the flowers still moved with a slight breeze. I can see that I did not go for a deep enough bracket as there are some artifacts in some of the images. Helicon Focus does a good job of aligning the stack of images even with some motion due to the slight breeze.

Verbascum blattaria - Moth Mullein. Composite of 24 focus stacked images taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 200, 80 mm, f/2.8, 1/250 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro and Helicon Focus. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Verbascum blattaria – Moth Mullein. Composite of 24 focus stacked images taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 200, 80 mm, f/2.8, 1/250 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro and Helicon Focus. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Dianthus flower cluster. Composite of 50 focus stacked Image taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 200, 80 mm, f/2.8, 1/125 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro and Helicon Focus. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Dianthus flower cluster. Composite of 50 focus stacked Image taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 200, 80 mm, f/2.8, 1/125 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro and Helicon Focus. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Light Purple Widflower. Composite of 25 focus stacked images taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 200, 80 mm, f/2.8, 1/125 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro and Helicon Focus. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Light Purple Widflower. Composite of 25 focus stacked images taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 200, 80 mm, f/2.8, 1/125 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro and Helicon Focus. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Zucchini Flower. Composite of 11 focus bracketed images taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 200, 80 mm, f/2.8, 1/125 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro and Helicon Focus. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Zucchini Flower. Composite of 11 focus bracketed images taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 200, 80 mm, f/2.8, 1/125 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro and Helicon Focus. (DAVID J MATHRE)

 

Nine-Years Ago (10-January-2009) — New Jersey

Troll Family Portrait.

It can be hard to get a large group to stand still for a family portrait. This time they had to freeze for 47 focus stacked images in order to get a full depth of field.

Troll Family Portrait. Composite of 47 focus stacked images taken with a Nikon D3x camera and 50 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 100, 50 mm, f/8, 1/60 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro and Helicon Focus (method C). (David J Mathre)
Troll Family Portrait. Composite of 47 focus stacked images taken with a Nikon D3x camera and 50 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 100, 50 mm, f/8, 1/60 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro and Helicon Focus (method C). (David J Mathre)

One-Year Ago (24-October-2016)

Backyard Autumn Nature in New Jersey

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.

Backyard Nisse with a new autumn mushroom. 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. (David J Mathre)
Backyard Nisse with a new autumn mushroom. 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. (David J Mathre)

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.

Friday (02-June-2017) — New Jersey

Backyard Springtime Nature in New Jersey.

More new Red Poppy Flowers, and what I think is Drummond’s Phlox (Annual Phlox). The Phlox wasn’t blooming yesterday, so a new wildflower for the year. I am looking forward to seeing what else comes back from last year, and what new comes up in the new wildflower meadow sections.

Cluster of Drummond's (Annual) Phlox flowers. Backyard spring nature in New Jersey. Focus stacked composite of 34 images taken with a Nikon Df camera and 105 mm f/2.8 VR macro lens and SB-910 flash (ISO 100, 105 mm, f/4, 1/80 sec). Focus stack processed with Helicon Focus (method A, R=8, S=4). (David J Mathre)
Cluster of Drummond’s (Annual) Phlox flowers. Backyard spring nature in New Jersey. Focus stacked composite of 34 images taken with a Nikon Df camera and 105 mm f/2.8 VR macro lens and SB-910 flash (ISO 100, 105 mm, f/4, 1/80 sec). Focus stack processed with Helicon Focus (method A, R=8, S=4). (David J Mathre)


Today (13-May-2017) — New Jersey

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