Charles Ginsburgh  

Poppy Seeds by Charles Ginsburgh

March 2023 - Poppy Seeds

March 2023 - Charles Ginsburgh


About the Image(s)

I went into my archives to find a macro image of some poppy seeds taken on Black Glass, that I took last summer. The magnification was quite large here (since these are poppy seeds), so depth of field was a challenge. Here I required a stack of 25 images taken with my Canon R6 with a Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5x Macro Photo Manual Focus Telephoto Lens mounted on a tripod and focus rail (1/60 sec, f/8, ISO 400). As is often the case with stacked images, one captures far more ‘stuff’ than expected (including hairs, dust and other ‘junk’) so some extensive editing was required. This is more typical than not, so if you encounter this, things are progressing as expected. I sacked the images using Helicon Focus and cleaned up the image in Photoshop. Note that here I was not above moving a few subjects to make a more pleasing composition and I added some background textures for interest. I show this image as an example that good macro images often don’t just happen, but require a lot of effort to pull then off.

This round’s discussion is now closed!
6 comments posted

Murphy Hektner   Murphy Hektner
Hi Charlie: You make the statement "good macro images don't just happen, but require a lot of effort to pull them off". That statement is absolutely correct in spades.
Your 65mm Canon macro lens was the right lens for this extreme magnification and I imagine you were at 5X to obtain this magnification we see on the poppy seeds. Then focus stacking with many images would have been necessary to obtain the good sharpness we see from front to back; otherwise depth of field at 5X is almost nill. KUDOS for all of the attention to fine detail and time that was required to pull off this interesting image. Thanks for sharing !!
  Posted: 03/08/2023 12:13:49

Barbara Asacker   Barbara Asacker
Hi Charlie,
Nice macro presentation of poppy seeds. You managed to capture incredibly sharp details in these tiny seeds. The shapes, texture, and hint of color on the seeds are interesting. The reflections on the black background works well. Your patience and effort paid off. Great job.
  Posted: 03/11/2023 09:37:55

Priscilla Farrell   Priscilla Farrell
Hi Charlie, If you would not have identified your subject I would not have suspected poppy seeds. To me, they look like little jewels sitting on a slight textured background with subtle reflections. Good work and time spent!   Posted: 03/17/2023 13:37:00

Barbara Hunley   Barbara Hunley
First, I like the fact that you have an odd number of poppy seeds in your photograph. You did a nice job of stacking and especially using the focus rail. A lot of work went into capturing this picture. There are some blank spots between the seeds so maybe using a seashell or two or something else to tighten it up a bit would enhance the seeds. It's amazing how something simple like flat marbles scattered about can add to a photo.   Posted: 03/24/2023 00:02:43
Charles Ginsburgh   Charles Ginsburgh
One of the issues with some macro images is the loss of context. In this image it might be easy to forget the context of the image, that being those very small poppy seeds that are so hard to see. Who knew that they had so much interesting detail? It might be difficult to find sea shells small enough to be useful.   Posted: 03/28/2023 11:44:41

Alane Shoemaker   Alane Shoemaker
Charlie, I would never have recognized this image as poppy seeds. I truly appreciate how you include the original with the final version, just as you include the revised images of our photos incorporating your recommendations. Thank you for all your efforts.   Posted: 03/28/2023 09:19:40