Khürt Williams

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This an image I made after a few failed attempts at macro photographer using extension tubes and a focus stacking technique. With the extension tubes and my AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8 lens I had no control over aperture. I used a Fotodiox 7mm and 28mm exention tubes with the lens which I think gives me a 1:1 ratio for the macro. I also used a Nikon SB-600 flash.

The camera was mounted on a macro rail. The flash was set on manual and the shutter speed was 1/200s at ISO 100. The lens was focused at the near edge of the flower pollen area and the rail was adjusted incrementally toward the far end of the pollen area. Originally I used a focus stacking technique from a blog post by Don Komarechka. The technique uses Photoshop CC’s Auto-Align and Auto-Blend Layers feature. My initial results were mixed. I don’t think I shot enough images to stack and I think that something moved slightly between captures. I re-read the blog post a few times and tried again.

However, instead of Photoshop I used ZereneStacker focus stacking software.

I took about 30 images but 28 were used to make this image. The images were exported as TIFF to the harddrive and imported into ZereneStacker. ZereneStacker did all the work. The final image was imported back into Adobe Lightroom for post processing.

The following Adobe Lightroom adjustments were made to the HDR image. * Exposure set to -0.65 * Contrast to +43 * Set hightlights to -100 to reduce blown out areas. * Shadow to -6 and white clipping to 43 * Set black clipping to 45 * Set blue to 51 * Set clarity to 21, vibrance to 15, and saturation to 13 * Sharpening to 14

I learned a lot. I learned to overcome my vanity. I had to use reading glasses to clearly see the LCD screen so I could focus. I had to be patient as I made the slight adjustments on the rail and shot each frame. I had to really think through what I wanted to accomplish and what I needed to do get the result. I learned that I could operate my camera completely in manual mode. #macro #pink #flower #focusstacking #nikon #extentiontube #patience

© Khürt L. Williams, 2020