ABOUT ME

I live in a camper van with a couple of West Highland Terriers for company.
My passion is photography but it is a work in progress.
I am always willing to share what knowledge I have and can be contacted through the comments on this post or e-mail ADRIAN
ALL IMAGES WILL ENLARGE WITH A LEFT CLICK

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

VARIETY. (04/03/14)

I have been busy stacking again. It’s sunshine and showers here. The wind is back and the showers have hail and sleet in them; not nice at all.

Yesterday evening I went down to the loch for the sunset. It was middling.lmdusk An HDR panorama. Nine shots in three groups of three. I shot these in landscape, normally I shoot in portrait but speed is of the essence in fast changing light.

_V0G8162 This young Polish lass was struggling and came to ask for the loan of my tripod. By the time I’d taken the plate of my camera and put it on hers it was getting a bit too dark. The camera was a beautiful job. A little Fujifilm XE-1, it looked like a Leica. It was slow to operate as half the menus were hidden away and it didn’t have a view finder. I must be getting old when I admire a camera before thinking about a twenty something girl.

I have been stacking this morning, I have another twenty days free on Zerene Stacker. Time will tell if I can learn it fast enough.

2014-03-04-12.03  Scots Pine…..Pinus whiskius……I meant Pinus sylvestris. 12 shots at f9. Canon 100mm macro. 1:1 magnification. It’s sprayed with glycerine. Glycerine looks like water droplets but is stickier and doesn't go everywhere. That is the theory. I’m sticking to my desk, my mouse and the key board. I’ll use water next time.

2014-03-04-11.55 This is the same thing but sixteen shots.

image   For those that have a Canon this is the free EOS Utilities screen. It is three screens which shuffle about quite happily. Several software programmes have gone this way including Photomatix. I suppose it could be a glitch on my computer. This is wonderful for any close up work as it gives a full screen view of what the camera is seeing. I can adjust all camera settings through it and it will focus in little, minute or miniscule steps. Not with the MP-E though as that is like all Canons best lenses manual only. Nikon do a similar thing but I seem to recall it isn’t free. Helicon is about the same price as Zerene but they also chuck in tethered camera software. Helicon will accept RAW camera data but the algorithms are not quite as polished. If you are interested free trial both. Combine ZP was the original freeware but is a nightmare to use and I have heard it is no longer supported.

image     There is an awful lot to learn when it comes to image stacking. John at MIDMARSH JOTTINGS mentioned a little row of red dots. I haven’t had this artefact before but on this image got it twice. The yellow arrow is pointing at them. I was using LEDs today and wonder if they are to blame. I’ve never noticed them with strobe lighting. I processed this using the depth map algorithm and the Pyramid algorithm I can then paste the best bits of both into one image or thought I could…see the green arrow. The chap on the video tutorial just paints away and bingo the job is perfect. I’ll have another look at the video tutorials. Haloing and shadowing are always a problem. I remember a few years ago focus stacking a Biro. It took all day, almost as long as stitching a panorama and picking anchor points. How times have changed.

2014-03-04-12.47 Shot at f5.6 just to let a bit more light in. Canon 100mm with a 36mm extension tube so larger than 1:1. It’s thirty images and this piece of moss is 3/4” by 1/4”. I would have popped it on a cigarette packet but got abuse last time and Philip Morris still haven’t offered a years supply in recompense so bugger them.

I think it is Saint Catherine's Moss but the leaf edges look a bit smooth.

I went to the cafe for breakfast, a large Scottish full of fat. Beautiful it is. Whilst waiting for Kath the cook I downloaded Twelve Years a Slave onto my Kindle..£0.49p. YORKSHIRE PUDDING thinks it is worth a read but he is educated and can quote Charlotte Bronte. I have tried reading Charlotte’s scribbling and never got more than a page or two. I love D. H. Lawrence I read the dirty bits at fourteen, few and far between they were. The lads at Lady Manners Bakewell could have done with far more dirty bits and less waffle. I’ve read all his books at least twice since and never tire of his writing. He was a proper author like Ken Follett, Bernard Cornwall and Frances Garrood. The latter is not very prolific but when she does get her arse in gear the results speak for themselves; she is still alive so I’m living in hope of a good read.

Have fun.

32 comments:

  1. I've got to get my image stacking processing together. I need to. The idea is to shoot at least 5 shots of the same subject at different apertures.

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    1. Maria, No, No, No. If doing it hand held in the field burst shoot having established focus and exposure in manual then ease forward or back about the length of the subject. I have never managed it with a Dragonfly. You always shoot at different focal lengths and light ought to be the same. You will lose some image round the edges as either focus or distance moves. The new software doesn't cause two many problems though more than enough for me.
      I prefer strobe light as it is always constant. I set the camera to 1/200s and strobe to ETTL with a soft box. I shoot in RAW but if you want to save time at the computer then shoot and shoot manual flash. Usually quarter to half power is enough to give contrast. The strobe has to be off camera. Brackets are really cheap.
      As you can see from my macros lighting is hard to learn.

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    2. Adrian, I got it mixed up with the HDR, excuse me. But I thought CS6 also did this.

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    3. Maria, CS6 does stack. files> scripts> load files into stack. Select all then edit> auto align. Then auto blend> stack.
      It does take an age and doesn't cope well with overlapping bits of the image. I suspect PS uses a Depth map algorithm.
      I will run a set through it today and post a comparison.

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  2. I think the stacking turned out well. The droplets of glycerine do look like water. I like your HDR panorama as well.

    Mersad
    Mersad Donko Photography

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  3. Mersad, the more I use it the better it gets. I am now thinking of a multi strobe system to give more contrast without loss of shadow detail. It's just fun at my age but I can still learn. At least these are all macros and not close ups.
    I will try for a perfect shot that will print at 1mx3/4m and be sharp to the edges. It's a different world when you get close to it.

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  4. Adrian, I love your photos, but all that technical stuff makes my brain hurt.

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    1. Frances, I'm a very bad mathematician learning to write. I have started using the (;) just to appear posh like you and Graham. There is no place in science for the (;).

      Just enjoy the pictures. The only reason I bother writing about them is because I hope for elucidation from others. Don't bother with it. I can enjoy a book well written but hate Geoff Archer....It grates as I read. I can enjoy a painting without wondering how it was achieved.

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  5. I love 'stacking', can't do it I'm afraid. Beautiful images you have made with Canon 100 macro.

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    1. Bob, I bet you can. The !00mm is okay but it isn't that sharp at the edges. What the hell just crop like me.

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  6. I had some red dots last time as well but in different placed to the first time. Looking at your photo the red dots in the bottom left quarter look pretty close to where I had the same problem. Makes me think it is something awry in the Canon capture software.

    If you have an area of the stacked shot which is not as sharp as it should be - cycle through the individual shots to find one where that part is in focus and use it for the copying. I think the copying process is 'incremental mixing' and it can take several passes to completely replace a faulty bit. If several parts of the stacked photo are not at their best you may have to use different individual shots for each part, each time finding the best one to use. It takes time!

    Overall it seems the smaller the increments between shots the better the finished result.

    The moss turned out well.

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    1. Addendum: Red dots. Changed my mind after a Google session - see my email. It could well be a camera problem.

      BTW - forgot to say I like the panorama shot.

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    2. John, I will have another go and run the images through Zerene and CS6. I was impressed with the Moss. I used the >>> increment I'll try one with more shots.

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    3. >>> jumps too far with my set up so I use >>

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  7. Arrrgghhh! my brain is hurting too comlicated for me, I think it would take me a least a week just do an image I wasn't happy with. But saying that looking at the end results it's worth it.

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    1. Douglas, on a wet day it passes the time. I love looking at small things so it is more of an adventure than a trial

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  8. Cracking panorama Adrian.
    Is that a first...assisting a young lady and not a hint of an ulterior motive?
    Not sure I understood any of that stacking tech. speak...you seem to be getting the better of it though! The moss worked well, I don't think the ciggies would have suited it!...[;o)

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    1. Trevor, Maybe a second....it doesn't happen often.
      The stacking is just a bit of fun. It is worth playing with for me as I like looking at the tiny bits of plants and insects.

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  9. Now don't get smart and give me a test on this post about stacking. thanks for recommending some authors. I'm always looking for something to read.

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    1. Red, it is always difficult to offer advice on books as everyones taste varies. I do enjoy Ken Follett and fellow blogger Frances writes with humour and compassion. The books seem a bit girly but I enjoyed them.

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  10. I'm with Frances. I enjoy your pictures immensely but couldn't care less about how they are produced and all the shutterbug gobbledegook. Still, someone has to care, and that someone is obviously you and others of your -- I say the word with respect -- ilk.

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    1. Bob, I get as much fun editing pictures as I do taking them.
      Ilk is very respectful in Scotland. Adrian of that Ilk would place me near to royalty.

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  11. The panorama is extraordinary Adrian. Love the stacking effect too!

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    1. Gillian, stacking is interesting composition is difficult. I never tire of the loch though it is getting time to move on.

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  12. This time I mostly just looked at the pictures. I was completely lost on the stacking, software, etc., and knowing I will never be a photographer I didn't try to understand. I do appreciate the pictures though and thank you for showing them to us.

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    1. David, it is a bit nerdy but it keeps me busy on wet days.

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  13. Las gotas quedan mejor con agua.
    Vendré a verte siempre que este viejo PC me deje. Tengo que cambiar todo le sistema operartvo del otro. El Windows XP ha decidido jubilarse ;)
    Buenas noches.
    Un abrazo

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    1. Laura, el agua añade interés.
      Yo uso Windows 7. Nunca me gustó XP. No creo que Windows 8 sería para mí.
      Buena suerte con el nuevo sistema.

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  14. Love the use of the foreground with the wide angle creating depth and almost vanishing point moments. Tried this a few times but my focusing is a bit iffy even at low speeds.

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    1. Jay it is a manual focus lens and a tripod helps.

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