An unreliable memoir

Lenten Rose (Helleborus x hybridus)

Lenten Rose
Lenten Rose (Helleborus x hybridus), handheld three image stack:
Layer 1
Layer 2
Layer 3
Whole flower   Nikon D5200 Tamron 70-300mm f32 210mm +68mm 1/250 ISO 100
Macro   Nikon D5200 Tamron 70-300mm f32 70mm +68mm 1/250 ISO 100

This is my first focus stack and I’m happy with the way it turned out, so I’m feeling pretty pleased with myself. As expected, handheld image stacks are hard, but I’m not particularly interested in studio work. Given a calm day and a co-operative insect, I think I could reproduce this outside.

While I was fiddling around with this, a thought occurred to me. I normally think of photographs as a moment of frozen time. The drawn out process of focus stacking and concentration on the z axis makes you think differently. This is a piece of frozen space. If you’re a landscape photographer, I suppose that’s not a big thought, but for a wildlife photographer more used to rapidly moving objects…


Focus Stacking (Photoshop CS5):

  1. Adjust photos in RAW.
  2. Open jpegs in Photoshop.
  3. Select whole area of all images.
  4. File > New.
  5. Paste each jpeg IN STACK ORDER in a new layer.
  6. In Layer Palette, select all layers.
  7. Edit menu > Auto-align layers.
  8. Edit menu > Auto-blend layers > Stack Images, check Seamless Tones and Colors.
  9. Final Adjustments, crop edges.

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