Lynne Hollingsworth  

Q tip by Lynne Hollingsworth

September 2020 - Q tip

About the Image(s)

When I tried to photograph salt I just couldn't find my focus. I tried extension tubes, no extension tubes you name it - I tried it. As I was rearranging the salt crystals with this Q-tip, I decided to abandon the salt and photograph the Q-tip.

26 slices were needed even with an f/9 exposure, and then combined in photoshop. I used an ISO of 100, and a 10 second exposure with my 105 macro lens. The image needed some post processing such as sharpening some of the rogue fibers sticking out. Some parts were too bright so I needed to bring down the exposure using the dodge tool with an opacity of about 20%. Then I decided the image needed to be flipped horizontally.

Please let me know your thoughts.

6 comments posted

Jeff Fleisher   Jeff Fleisher
I do like the rouge fibers sticking gives it character. The reflection gives balance to the image but to my eye, I may not have cut off the tip on the reflection. I use Helicon Focus with my stacks but mainly because I don't use Photoshop very much.

Are you manually changing the focus position or using a tether/wifi to change the focus position? I've used Helicon Remote to control the focus and that works really well.

Did you use all 26 slices in your final image? At f/9 I would have thought the rear fibers would have been in focus as well. I do like the effect with the Q-tip slowly going out of focus, however.   Posted: 09/10/2020 20:58:24
Lynne Hollingsworth   Lynne Hollingsworth
I did use all 26 slices, manually moving my focus around the tip. Tethering is a good idea. After I did my post processing of cleaning up the stray fibers, etc., I put it "away" for a day or 2. If was only after I submitted it did I see that the reflection was cut off. How could I have not seen it? Making sure the tip itself was in focus, I think some tunnel vision came into play here.   Posted: 09/11/2020 06:55:55
Peter Newman   Peter Newman
We all make similar mistakes. The good part is we learn from them, and that type of error will not affect our ability to put food on the table.   Posted: 09/12/2020 13:41:39

Jeff Fleisher   Jeff Fleisher
A good habit to get into is to scan the edges of the frame just before you shoot to make sure you are including everything you want and excluding everything you don't want. You don't want anything cut off and you don't want anything touching the edge of the frame....give things room to breathe. I like to compose in the camera and minimize cropping in post processing but it is always good to leave a little extra room so that you crop if you need to.

If you haven't tried Helicon Remote you should give it a try. I use it tethered via a cable connection to the camera...I can never get their wifi version to work correctly. You can use a smartphone or tablet/ipad in the field. You can set the near focus point and the distant focus point and it calculates how many images to collect given your focal length and lens combination. You can over-ride all settings so you have control of what you want to collect.   Posted: 09/11/2020 20:21:34

Peter Newman   Peter Newman
Lynne, Thank you for sharing your image. My eye is drawn straight to the subject. Your placement of the subject and the angle you used, create a dynamic feel. I think you created a nice simple and interesting image.

I would like to see a thin white border around the image, so it doesn't merge into a black background.   Posted: 09/12/2020 13:52:57

Angela Chan   Angela Chan
Thank you for sharing this interesting household beauty that not too many people will stop and appreciate . I enjoy seeing the texture of the white fiber ; especially the fly aways.
I would decrease the exposure of the highlight so that the textures can be seen more.
I find that in focus stacking there is a rectangle slightly inside the frame that comes out blurry so I usually leave some breathing space.
I like to see true black background that can be achieve with level on PS or adjustent brush in many many other ways.
Thank you for sharing once again.

  Posted: 09/12/2020 14:56:16


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