Sunflower leaf

Joined
Oct 8, 2018
Messages
465
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SE Michigan
Real Name
Chris
I have been dabbling into the Macro world a little bit, trying to decide if it’s a genre I want to explore more in depth. Ive started with just using the Meinke Macro tubes (that was very expertly recommended to me by members of this forum - thank you!) as a stepping stone before I decide to buy a lens or not. I don’t think I’ve ever been this so “on the fence” about an aspect of photography before. There are things I really like about it and others that frustrate me. So much more to learn that’s for sure but I enjoy the fact that it’s new and pushes me to learn and expand my knowledge base.

Here is a 67 image stack I attempted. Getting the lighting just right was a struggle - which frustrates the heck out of someone so use to shaping light for portraits and landscapes hahaha. I struggled to get the definition of the reflection as pronounced as I wanted. Also I feel like I should have stacked more frames so it would all be in focus. Any thoughts or insight would be appreciated! On a side note, the image was 23 gigabytes and I wasn’t sure if my computer would even process it haha.
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Joined
Sep 13, 2007
Messages
13,395
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Northern VA suburb of Washington, DC
Very creative. The reflections have a pleasantly soft look to me. Unlike your take on them, they aren't lacking definition to me.

I've never stacked images and I don't know what system you used, but if you used the automated method to capture focus-shifted images in your Z7, I doubt that it will work properly when including reflections. That's because the only way to get a sharply focused reflection is to use a depth of field that includes, in this case, the water droplet and the sunflowers being reflected (as opposed to the reflections themselves of the sunflowers).

Best of luck in deciding whether you want to pursue more macro photography. Immediately after posting this message, I'm gonna make some macro images I didn't get to yesterday as planned. Making macro photos can be one heck of a lot of fun.
 
Joined
Sep 13, 2007
Messages
13,395
Location
Northern VA suburb of Washington, DC
I used auto function on the Z7 and it worked flawlessly.
I wonder if we're misunderstanding each other. If you wanted the reflection in sharp focus, the auto function didn't work for the reason I already explained. If you wanted the reflection in soft focus, which I like but you complained about, I agree that it worked flawlessly, as I would expect to happen.

Unfortunately, I still haven't gotten to making my macro images because a different project requiring a higher priority came up.
 
Joined
Oct 8, 2018
Messages
465
Location
SE Michigan
Real Name
Chris
I wonder if we're misunderstanding each other. If you wanted the reflection in sharp focus, the auto function didn't work for the reason I already explained. If you wanted the reflection in soft focus, which I like but you complained about, I agree that it worked flawlessly, as I would expect to happen.

Unfortunately, I still haven't gotten to making my macro images because a different project requiring a higher priority came up.
Oh, yeah I think maybe some miscommunication. It worked flawlessly as in it performed exactly what it was supposed to do. The focus plane shifted incrementally and was captured as crisp and sharp “slices” that covered the entire area i expected. The detail in the reflection could not have been improved any by the camera or settings. It worked perfectly. The issue was my lack of planning / placement of lighting to achieve the desired look. If that makes sense. Basically the camera worked great. My ability to light the scene and use software afterwards requires practice haha. I didn’t set the scene up well enough to allow the light to be placed / shaped to give the best reflection and still light up the leaf.
 
Joined
Oct 8, 2018
Messages
465
Location
SE Michigan
Real Name
Chris
To your earlier point, DOF isn’t necessarily as important when you are stacking images. That’s why macro shooters use this method because the DOF is so shallow most of the time you can’t get sharp focus on the whole scene.
 

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