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White Hydrangea & DOF Blending

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Old 12-21-2008, 11:28 AM
gmitchel gmitchel is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 316
White Hydrangea & DOF Blending

Here's a holiday flower. A white hydrangea. This shot uses three stacked shots to extend DOF.

I started in ACR 5.2. I selected the shots and then clicked on the Tools | Photoshop | Load Into Photoshop Layers menu item.

Inside Photoshop CS4, I cropped the photo. Then I used Edit | Auto-Align Layers with the Auto Projection option and then Edit | Auto-Blend Layers with the seamless Tones and Colors option. That stacked the layers and blended them.

The rest was basic edits. Dust & scratches filter to get rid of dust and dirt specks. Shadows/Highlights to improve texture in the hydrangea petals. TLR Inkjet Output Sharpener at 240 ppi. (The photo was at 240 ppi resolution.)

This was shot under natural light with a Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 180mm "L" Macro Lens, Gitzo tripod, Kirk BH-1 ball head.

I can tell you that the technique of stacking photos to extend DOF is much harder than it sounds in theory and from the Photoshop gurus. I took lots of shots today of the hydrangea and a white lilly. Few of the sets worked well. With natural light and a small DOF, you end up with exposures of a second or more. Any movement, like the tiny stamens on a lily, will cause issues. I switched to full flash with a pair of 550EX flashes and an ST-3 transmitter to get to 1/60 sec. to stop movement and darken the background. I'll post an example of the lily later.

I'm working on a video tutorial now.

Comments are welcome.

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Old 12-21-2008, 03:00 PM
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lkroll lkroll is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Alabama
Posts: 4,450
Re: White Hydrangea & DOF Blending

Saw this one earlier on DPR's retouch site. I really do like it. Maybe a tad too soft (not privey to the hirez original and the softness may be due to downsizing). Maybe would make a cool seamless texture (was trying to do so, but don't have a full flower head which would be benificial to do some selective pattern stamping; yes I tried. lol).
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Old 12-21-2008, 04:02 PM
gmitchel gmitchel is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 316
Re: White Hydrangea & DOF Blending

It's a bit soft because I did not bother to sharpen it for web after downsizing. Also, I rushed through it and did not capture sharpen.

Thanks for the kind comments and suggestion.

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