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A wander around our local flora and fauna reserve this morning

Autumn Bird-orchid (Chiloglottis reflexa)

These orchids are small. The flower would be smaller than a dime.

15 image focus stack, f/5.6 step size 3


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I posted this information also in another thread discussing focus stacking.

The tables shown below are Nikon recommendations pertaining to focus shifting settings using the D850 and the indicated Nikon macro lenses. The information in those tables might be good starting points regardless of the Nikon camera or lens being used.

They come from Thom Hogan's ebook about how to use the Z6/Z7, which I'm using at Nick's recommendation. If the tables aren't helpful, blame Nick. :ROFLMAO:

In addition to those two tables, Hogan explains that Nikon suggests using Step Size 1 for macro images and Step Size 5 for landscape images.

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Double WOW!
Triple WOW!!!!!
You nailed it!
Richard - Truly exceptional. There must have been absolutely no wind to get such a sharp composite image.

Thank you all for kind comments.

John, although it would be great to be able to photograph the native orchids in a controlled environment, unfortunately for me its not possible. The majority of the native orchids are small. For instance this Pelican Orchid

48287691772_15705c9347_h.jpg
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This image is not a focus stack, I have included it as reference only.
48329074852_208c7b169e_h.jpg
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While these Helmet (Corybas) type orchids are pretty resistant to a breeze, they are also low profile which means getting the camera down low. There are exceptions, for instance the Mountain Helmet Orchid which tends to grow on tree ferns.

48378936697_86e40a7aaf_h.jpg
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Regardless, the flowers are small.

For the orchids on longer stems, the majority will move with the slightest of a breeze. It didn't take me long to realise the Camranger wasn't suited to these subjects. So I invested in cameras with the focus bracketing included. They use an electronic shutter, with minimal delay between shots. Much of the time it is using an object like an umbrella or coat to try and shield the flower, abut not the light, also I tend to go out early morning when its usually a bit calmer. Then its a matter of waiting for a calm period and hit the remote shutter release.

Here is one from yesterday bathed in the rising sun still with the dew on it. This is a Midge-orchid, not 100% sure which one as its not open yet. I'll be going back next weekend to hopefully photograph them fully in flower.

EDIT: This is not a focus stack image. You may also get an idea of how small these flowers are by the size of the dew droplets

49567823536_b025325ec4_h.jpg
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Here are a few more focus stacked orchids, all a similar size to the Autumn Bird-orchid from our local flora and fauna reserves


Hare Orchid
48791820191_22560fad43_h.jpg
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Gnat Orchid
48697584241_65ef7013d0_h.jpg
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Large Duck Orchid
48883563943_b3a289a7cb_h.jpg
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Cannot compete with those, but here is a Mini Daff (about 2" / 5cm wide) from Wales.

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You have such fascinating and unusual flowers "down under!" They are just amazing, and you capture their beauty and distinctive characteristics so wonderfully.
Thank you!

Fungi is my other passion, between native orchids and fungi this is why I take hundreds of focus stacks during the year.

The ghost fungi are starting to make an appearance. This is one subject I still use the CamRanger for. With exposures into the minutes, I'm still to get an opportunity to do a focus stack of one. The CamRanger is great as I can stand well away from the camera and subject and review the result to see if the exposure time was good enough. Light pollution, particularly a moon lit night creates a few issues.

I feel this might be a ghost fungi. It was taken yesterday while I was out looking for native orchids. I'll only know for sure by heading back at night to see if it glows.

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They're not easy to spot at night, hence why you need to find them during the day. Once your eyes become accustomed to the night you can see them glowing, albeit faintly.

This is what they look like photographing them at night.

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Thank you all for kind comments.

John, although it would be great to be able to photograph the native orchids in a controlled environment, unfortunately for me its not possible. The majority of the native orchids are small. For instance this Pelican Orchid

View attachment 1655782

This image is not a focus stack, I have included it as reference only.
View attachment 1655783

While these Helmet (Corybas) type orchids are pretty resistant to a breeze, they are also low profile which means getting the camera down low. There are exceptions, for instance the Mountain Helmet Orchid which tends to grow on tree ferns.

View attachment 1655784

Regardless, the flowers are small.

For the orchids on longer stems, the majority will move with the slightest of a breeze. It didn't take me long to realise the Camranger wasn't suited to these subjects. So I invested in cameras with the focus bracketing included. They use an electronic shutter, with minimal delay between shots. Much of the time it is using an object like an umbrella or coat to try and shield the flower, abut not the light, also I tend to go out early morning when its usually a bit calmer. Then its a matter of waiting for a calm period and hit the remote shutter release.

Here is one from yesterday bathed in the rising sun still with the dew on it. This is a Midge-orchid, not 100% sure which one as its not open yet. I'll be going back next weekend to hopefully photograph them fully in flower.

EDIT: This is not a focus stack image. You may also get an idea of how small these flowers are by the size of the dew droplets

View attachment 1655785




Here are a few more focus stacked orchids, all a similar size to the Autumn Bird-orchid from our local flora and fauna reserves


Hare Orchid
View attachment 1655786

Gnat Orchid
View attachment 1655787

Large Duck Orchid
View attachment 1655788
Excellent results, Richard. What I particularly like about your focus-stacked orchids is that you can use a large aperture and get beautifully blurred backgrounds.

I also appreciate the ghost fungus. Was the night photograph made in truly dark conditions? Hard to see what you're doing, isn't it?
 
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Try this simple workflow in Photoshop: https://create.adobe.com/2019/1/29/focus_stacking_in_ph.html

When Photoshop worked, that workflow was flawless. When Photoshop didn't work, the final image wasn't recognizable.
Mike - this link helped! Same set of images from my previous post. I am a noob with layers and adjustments in PS. I am very adept in LR but have not gone very deep in PS. Thanks again!
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Excellent results, Richard. What I particularly like about your focus-stacked orchids is that you can use a large aperture and get beautifully blurred backgrounds.

I also appreciate the ghost fungus. Was the night photograph made in truly dark conditions? Hard to see what you're doing, isn't it?
Thank you Jim!

As I'm not using a Nikon body for these shots, I need to take into account 'Effective Aperture' and the possibility of diffraction. Whether diffraction is really an issue or not, I'm not sure. But when it comes to close-up/macro work I prefer to keep my lenses in their sweet spot. Even though I have the lens set at f/5.6 in reality it could be close to, or at f/11.

Apparently light has little impact on the fungi, so we use a torch. I use a head torch to find my way through the bush, find the fungi, and also to compose and focus the subject. Switching to manual focus so the camera doesn't try to refocus once the light source is turned off. Then its just a matter of finding a location where any light source you might be using, e.g. a smartphone for timing/shutter operation etc. has minimal impact on the subject. Depending on the age of the fungi, they tend to glow brighter when fresh, and slowly diminish with age. The first couple of shots are usually trying to get the optimum exposure for each subject. When there are a few of us, the first one usually does the experimenting, which allows the others in the group to get pretty close first go. One of the reasons I ended up buying the Nikkor 60mm macro was for the ghost fungi. It allows me to have the camera reasonably close to the subject. Unfortunately they don't all grow out in the open, and sometimes there is not a lot of room to maneuver.
 
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Three Coins.................

50 Exposures; Focus Step Width = 1; Helicon.

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