An unreliable memoir

Posts tagged “focus stacking

Winter Colours

Chrysoperla carnea

The green lacewings are quite difficult to tell apart. Fortunately, Chrysoperla carnea still in its subdued winter colours is reasonably easy to spot (much harder later in the year when it’s green like all the others), especially if you get close enough to see the hairy veins on the wings.

Chrysoperla carnea

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Supercoiled!

Supercoiled

Supercoiling occurs when a structure such as these three elastic bands relieves the helical stress of overtwisting by twisting around itself.

Do you remember when,
Things were really hummin’,
Yeah, let’s twist again,
Twistin’ time is here!

 

Nikon D7200, EL Nikkor 50mm f2.8N (reversed), f5.6, 1/80 ISO 800, 12 image focus stack.


Field Wood-rush

Field Wood-rush

There seems to be a growing trend on Instagram for hi-key minimalism, including some rather nice arty “botanical” shots, so I thought I’d have a go. In the end, this macro image won out though, and my hi-key effort turned out to be not that hi-key after all. That’s OK, I’ll filter the s**t out of it on Instagram. Also known as “Good Friday Grass”, Luzula campestris was a week late around these parts this year, needing the first warm weather on Good Friday to get it going. Or maybe, Easter was too early… Anyhow, here comes the botany bit. How do I know this 10cm plant nodding at me from my sodden lawn and giving me another excellent reason not to mow it is a rush? Because:

Sedges have edges and
Rushes are round and
Grasses have nodes
all the way to the ground.

Field Wood-rush – Luzula campestris.
Nikon D7200 EL Nikkor 50mm f2.8 N f5.6 1/80 ISO 800, 5 image focus stack.

Field Wood-rush


Danish Scurvygrass

Danish Scurvygrass

If you’ve been paying attention you’ll have noticed the white froth along all the major roads at the moment. If you pull off and investigate, it looks like this. Danish Scurvygrass was unknown inland 50 years ago, but with the ever increasing tonnage of salt risk-averse councils pour onto the roads each year this seaside plant has taken advantage of the niche we have built for it.

Danish Scurvygrass – Cochlearia danica.

Danish Scurvygrass


Leiobunum blackwalli

Leiobunum blackwalli

I really like this shot, it’s so alien.

Harvestman, Leiobunum blackwalli.


Guilty Pleasures

Guilty Pleasures

Focus stacking – the ideal occupation for a rainy day. Over the last year I’ve spent more and more time taking photographs of smaller and smaller objects. The problem with this is physics – when a lens magnifies an image so that it becomes larger than life-size (i.e. macro photography), the depth of field decreases. Focus stacking gets round that issue, but requires a set of well-aligned images, and for me that’s an issue because the creatures I like to photograph tend to fly away when you poke a lens in their eye. But not this 4mm long insect, sadly deceased on my windowsill when I opened the curtains this morning – the ideal object for stacking (from my perspective, not his)! I haven’t identified this one yet, beyond the fact that it’s a Myrid bug, but that’s another guilty pleasure – spending hours with dichotomous keys figuring out a Latin name. Rainy days? Bring ’em on.

Update: it’s a Birch Catkin Bug – Kleidocerys resedae.


Inheritance

Kalanchoe

I inherited quite a few plants from my late father-in-law many years ago. This Kalanchoe is one of them. It took me several years to work out how to get it to flower (there’s a trick), but since then it has bloomed every year in the depths of winter (which is why I’ve shot it before). My father-in-law didn’t leave me any money, but by keeping some of his plants alive we are constantly reminded of him as the seasons change, and as far as I’m concerned that’s better than any inheritance.

It’s a very difficult subject to shoot well and I worked really hard on this in Photoshop. I’m  disappointed with the result, it looks like some sort of oversaturated 500px monstrosity. It really is this colour but it looks wrong as a macro. If you tone down the saturation or vibrance it turns into mud. Sigh. It’s been a tough week.


The Chain

The Chain

And if you don’t love me now
You will never love me again
I can still hear you saying
You would never break the chain.

I shot this against a variety of backgrounds. Unexpectedly, the plain black and white backgrounds produced boring images while the red-on-red version I thought would never work was the best. Makes the pain of having to eat a Lindor mini Easter egg to get the red foil for the bokeh wall worthwhile.

5 image focus stack.


Lost and Found

Lost and Found

We don’t need no stinking GPS!
I found my old bearing compass, which has been responsible for getting me lost in some of the finest landscapes in the UK. Bonus points for anyone able to tell me – without Googling it – the location on the map.

Nikon D5200 Tokina 100mm f8 1/60 ISO 200, 10 image focus stack, natural light.