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Emergent (Macro Shot)

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Old 10-08-2004, 07:35 PM
gmitchel gmitchel is offline
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Location: Tallahassee, FL
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Emergent (Macro Shot)

Here is one of my last Canon 10D images. It's a fungus. I took the shot at Maclay Gardens SP in Tallahassee, FL.

This was a 2 second exposure at f/18 to get plenty of DOF. I shot at 100 ISO and exposed to the right to minimize noise. I used mirror lock-up for added sharpness.

Canon 180mm "L" macro lens. 1:1 reproduction ratio with narrower FOV from the 1.6x cropping factor.

Here is the image right out of ACR II. No retouching.

The DOF left the green leaf at the left edge soft. I used three-pass sharpening technique with actions from my TLR Sharpening Toolkit.

The first round was 6 pixel Highpass Sharpening with a luminosity mask to restore sharpness lost during digital capture.

The second round was Creative Sharpening using USM. I used aggressive settings. 350, 4, 0. Then I painted in the leaf at the left edge with white paint on a black-filled layer mask. I also painted in a second leaf in the upper left at 35% opacity.

The third round was output sharpening. I used settings to enhance contrast. 20, 10, 0.

Sharpening was the only adjustment I made outside of ACR II. In ACR II, I adjusted the White Balance to warm the image a bit and reduced the saturation a touch to hold details in the bright green leaves.

Comments are welcome.



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Old 10-09-2004, 01:45 PM
brandonx49's Avatar
brandonx49 brandonx49 is offline
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Comox Valley, BC, Canada
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Hi Mitch - thanks for sharing your technique in shooting the fungi. I'm reading Ben Long's 'Complete Digital Photography 2nd Ed" right now. He has not mentioned what DOF is yet. Can you please fill in the blank.

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Old 10-09-2004, 03:49 PM
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Janet Petty Janet Petty is offline
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reply to DOF question

DOF = Depth of Field

Has to do with aperature settings and how close or how far the camera will focus clearly.

For macro shots like the fungi, it is easy to open the camera lens all the way (such as f-2.8 or such) for a lot of light thus narrowing the depth to which the camera can focus clearly. That is why so many close up pictures are blurry the further from the focus point they are.

The technique the shooter of the fungi used was to use a narrow depth of field (i.e. f-22 or such), which lets in less light but more focus ability. By setting his camera the way he did, he was able to correct for both depth and the lack of light created by the f-stop.

He also probably had a good tripod and a cable release. I don't know of too many people who are able to hold still long enough to properly expose a picture with a setting as high as the one he used. Chuckle

Clear as mud?
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Old 10-09-2004, 09:22 PM
gmitchel gmitchel is offline
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Janet did a good job with the explanation.

I did indeed use a good tripod and ball head. I use a Gitzo tripod and a Kirk BH-1 ball head. My larger lenses have tripod rings, and I put custom plates on them and on my camera.

I also used a shutter release cable and enabled the mirror lock-up function on the camera.

I take almost every picture with a tripod and shutter release cable. You get 20% sharper images, even with landscapes.

DOF is the zone of sharpness in front and behind the subject. Smaller apertures give you wider DOF. If you keep the aperture fixed, DOF narrows as you move closer to the subject.

With macro and near macro subjects, DOF can be very narrow. A fraction of an inch. So it is common the use a small aperture to get as much of the subject in focus as possible.

With fungi, small apertures and long exposures are not much of a problem. With live subjects, any movement will result in blur. With subjects like flowers, even a slight breeze can give you a "ghost" around the edges of your flower petal. We macro photographers spend a lot of time half-clicking our shutter buttons, waiting for a lull in the air movements.


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