Robert Schleif  

Aged Beauty by Robert Schleif

January 2021 - Aged Beauty

About the Image(s)

On a morning walk in October at a time when there were virtually no fresh flowers to be seen, I saw this and tried a handheld shot with my new camera. It was only OK so I came in the evening as the sun was setting and took this. Shooting it required an embarrassingly large amount of equipment: tripod of course, a clamp called a plamp that clamps to the tripod and holds the stem of a flower steady despite some breeze, ball head on the tripod, quick release mount, my new camera that can shoot a focus stack automatically, adapter so my EF 70-200 f/4 can attach to the R5, and an adapter so the Canon D500 closeup lens can attach to the 70-200. The 40 shot focus stack was then processed with the Canon DPP4 program. So far I haven't seen a need to try the Helicon program, or the need to buy a macro lens. After all, I don't want to own much stuff.

11 comments posted

Tom Carnahan   Tom Carnahan
Wow! Great shot and finished product.   Posted: 01/03/2021 14:45:45

Dorinda Wills   Dorinda Wills
40 shot focus stack! Wow! Well done! I'm often attracted to flowers that are past their prime, as this one is. You did a great job with the composition. I like that the stem is behind the flower (not next to it) so that the flower appears to lean towards the viewer. The blemishes in the flower add interest. One of your best works in my opinion. Also I enjoyed a good chuckle when you described all the equipment!
  Posted: 01/03/2021 17:19:59
Robert Schleif   Robert Schleif
Your response to the 40 shots in the focus stack prompted me to go back and look at the shots. Only 13 of them had a portion of the flower in focus. Thus, 27 were essentially ignored and were unnecessary.   Posted: 01/04/2021 08:42:15
Dorinda Wills   Dorinda Wills
Interesting about the usable shots, but makes sense to me.   Posted: 01/04/2021 13:53:31
Robert Schleif   Robert Schleif
Maybe I should mention that my new camera automatically makes a focus stack. Initially you set the focus either on the nearest part of your subject or in front of that point. You also set the number of shots you want taken. The camera takes a shot, adjusts the focus somewhat further away and shoots again, repeating the process until either your preset number of shots has been taken or focus has reached infinity. For safety, I've been over generous on the number of shots to be taken, but 40 is currently my standard for subjects like this flower. Before using the focus stack images, I now go through it to find the range of shots for which some part of the subject is in focus, and I discard the rest. Thus, I should have reported that my image was from a focus stack of 13 shots.   Posted: 01/04/2021 14:19:56
Jon Joyce   Jon Joyce
By the way,Robert, I have used the Helicon system for a few years now and find it very easy to use. It reads camera settings and then requires only that the desired beginning and end points be identified. It then calculates the number of shots required and stacks them. I also like its post processing ability to patch problems such as movement during the sequence of shots making the stack.   Posted: 01/09/2021 15:15:39

Judy Merson   Judy Merson
This is an absolutely beautiful perfectly sharp image of the flower head.
A wonderful example of the benefits of focus stacking. As I have said before I enjoy photographing texture,rust and rot The only distraction for me are the white spots about a third of the way up the stem which I would clone out And the white line along the left side of the stem   Posted: 01/08/2021 23:08:35
Robert Schleif   Robert Schleif
Thank you. I'll see what I can do about the white line and those white spots.   Posted: 01/11/2021 20:09:31

Jon Joyce   Jon Joyce
Beautiful shot, Robert. I agree with the comments of others and would add that the blurred background texture and colors add greatly to the success of this photo.   Posted: 01/09/2021 15:06:46

Jessica Manelis   Jessica Manelis
I love it and think it is tack sharp. You may have a little too much background blur. I like the composition of having the flower be the focus, but I would suggest cropping off some of the bottom so the flower is floating less. It was worth all of the equipment.   Posted: 01/12/2021 11:27:59

Robert Schleif   Robert Schleif
Your comments and suggestions have improved the image. Thank you all.   Posted: 01/12/2021 12:02:27


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