It’s time for A Personal Photo Challenge! “Close-up/Macro” is the theme this month.
Spare time has been a rare commodity at our cottage lately, but I managed to capture and post-process three new images for this month’s challenge. I used my Nikon D800 DSLR and 105mm macro lens. Please click on each photo to see them bigger and study the details.
purple pansy macro
f/20, 1/4 second, ISO 320
orange center daffodil (stacked focus)
f/20, 1/5 second, ISO 320
pink blossom macro (stacked focus)
f/32, 0.3 second, ISO 320
When I think of a macro mode, floral subject matter always comes to mind. I used to curse light conditions and contort my body into all kinds of painful positions by taking flower macro shots in the field. Well, this gal takes a smarter approach these days and sets up photo shoots inside. (And my aching bones and muscles thank me.)
Each of the flower photos was taken with the setup shown below. A tripod, diffused natural light (white shade over window), and white foam-core board are essential elements. The white boards bounce light into the shadow areas. A fine spray of water on the pink blossom provided extra texture.
I also taught myself a brand new technique, one that I will use again and again in future macro work. The second and third macro photos above were created with “focus stacking.” I saw a photographer refer to the technique about a year ago and found it intriguing. But I had forgotten about trying it until my recent photo shoot.
This article provides a great explanation about how to achieve focus stacking. I combined three photos to create each final photo, and all of them focused on different parts of the flower within the frame. Then I used Photoshop CC to combine the image layer stacks and magically make everything appear in focus. If you happen to use Photoshop Elements 12 for post-processing, please refer to this video for step-by-step instructions.
I hope you will visit A Personal Photo Challenge blog and check out the creative efforts of other participants too!