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Re: [OM] Focus Stacking in the wilds.

Subject: Re: [OM] Focus Stacking in the wilds.
From: Moose <olymoose@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 25 May 2016 13:57:50 -0700
On 5/23/2016 5:12 AM, DZDub wrote:
On Mon, May 23, 2016 at 12:06 AM, Moose <olymoose@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Wednesday, we had occasion to be in Vallejo at 6pm . . .
We went wandering in the Forrest Deaner Native Plant Botanic Garden. It
isn't much larger than its name, the peak flower season is past there and
we have a much larger native plant BG very close to home. But with the
different climate, they had nicer specimens of some flora and some
beautiful flowers.

I took the opportunity to try a bunch of hand held focus stacks using the
Nikon 5T C-U lens on PLeica 100-400 lens, and that's mostly what's in this
little gallery. <
 . . .
Those look great to me.


It's hard to judge how much better than they would
have been without FS unless there is a "control" photo well stopped down.

I started to do a couple of roll-overs, but life has so far got in the way. They simply have more depth of in focus subject than the f10-11 single shots, some quite a bit more.

But me likey these, and I can't imagine doing the shots hand-held.

Glad you likey! Hand holding does require good eye-hand coordination, steady hands and patience. I personally find it better than the alternative - come back at another time, in hopes of less wind, hope for as good or better light, set up tripod, and maybe Plamp, to steady the subjects, and so on. All that planning and prep is both too much like a job and will miss the ephemeral that I love. I'm not shooting for assignment, or any other commercial purpose, and there are other things in my life to do, too.

Maybe it isn't so tricky if the main subject moves a bit, but if the near-focus
leaves or grass move in the background, it will spoil the effort with ghosting.

It's interesting. Once the aligned stack is created, flipping through, it seems visually as though the foreground subject(s) are fixed, and the back ground moves, as if the camera were moving to slightly different angles. But it's just OoF background, and doesn't matter if it's a little this way of that behind the subject(s).

I did get a very few ghosts/artifacts. In one of the not so close up, complex groups of flowers, there was a stem that just ended, and another version of it very close. Nothing one would likely notice without looking in the very busy composition.

I have work flow suggestion for dealing with that, that has worked well for me. Kinda hard to describe briefly and clearly, but here goes.

1. Create an aligned stack.

2. Select all the layers.

3. CTRL-J, which will create copies of all the stack, in a group, all selected, 
above the originals.

4. Edit=>Auto Blend Layers, with the "Seamless Tones and Colors" box checked.

5. Usually, but not always, IME, that will create a new top layer, labeled 
"Merged" If not, CTRL-Shift-Alt-E will do it.

6. All the copy layers will now have been adjusted in color, brightness, contrast, and who knows what and masked, to create the seamless merge. Because of that, they are useless for fixing ghosts. Delete them.

7. Where you have a ghost, phantom limb, etc., go through the original layers 
to find the one with the correct piece.

8. Create a mask on the merged image and use a black brush to paint 'in' the correct bit from below. I have yet to need to do this with more than one of the originals, but it can be done, just more layers, maybe merged work layers, and masks.

Interesting, beautiful species, too.

California is a huge state, with a vast range of geology and habitat. I've lived here for over 70 years, have the premier botanic garden devoted to native species practically in my back yard, and I still run into new to me species. There is beauty all around. :-)

I'd be very pleased with an outing like that.

Y'all come on out. There's a pleasant guest room, good food and company* - with 
guided tours available. ;-)

The west coast AAA magazine, VIA, has a Readers' Bucket List in this issue. One of the 10 places is maybe all of five minutes drive from our house. Three were on tours we led for out of state visitors this spring, along with places I'd rate higher. The range and variety of gorgeous places in day trip range of us is amazing. We're spoiled.

Coastal Moose

* Although the view directly from our house doesn't measure up, I'll bet, to 
your river view.

What if the Hokey Pokey *IS* what it's all about?

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