Tom Pickering  

Not Bread by Tom Pickering

January 2021 - Not Bread

About the Image(s)

Specs: D5000, Tamron 60mm Macro + 66mm of extension tubes, F45, 6s, ISO 200, Macro Rig

Despite what this looks like, It is not bread. This is, in fact, a date pit (as in the seed of the fruit). This is a 22-image stack shot at 2:1, merged in Helicon Focus. Post-processing done in Affinity Photo to balance the tones. Suggestions?

11 comments posted

Witta Priester   Witta Priester
(Group 77)
An interesting photo and who woudda guessed... The foreground looks a bit soft? As for suggestions, probably depends on the intended use, but maybe adjust both the brightness and darkness at the edges a little.   Posted: 01/05/2021 08:49:47
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Tom Pickering   Tom Pickering
Guess I need to look closer at my stack. d:¬{0   Posted: 01/05/2021 10:36:36

Stuart Ord   Stuart Ord
Novel subject! It looks like bread to me too.

I would agree, apparently not as sharp as we might expect. But I'm learning that some subject just don't look sharp as they have no features that we associate with sharpness (high contrast edges). My picture this month of an orchid interior is a case in point - it just is that way. Let's see if people disagree! But f45 is well into diffraction country. We've seen this lens at incredibly small apertures before and I don't recall it being a limitation, though.   Posted: 01/06/2021 15:22:55
Tom Pickering   Tom Pickering
I think if there's any soft spots, it's due to the cheapie rail I was using. It was hard to advance the camera in even increments.

I have since purchased a better one ( ) that allows for much finer control of movement. It was a little pricey, but I'm thinking it will be worth it. I'm still figuring out how to best incorporate it into my DIY macro rig.   Posted: 01/13/2021 11:15:46
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Stuart Ord   Stuart Ord
Do you think the stacking software requires that the steps between frames is the same? I'd not thought about that before. When doing stacks by manual increment, I don't take much care over making them the same, althought the repetitive movement must be roughly similar I suppose. I've just been taking a pic of a tiny flower (3-4mm diameter) and getting soft areas. The petal tips are all nice and sharp but the internal surfaces look like there's fog in there, which I can't understand or correct. But I was incrementing by hand.

Your new rail looks sturdy. Not cheap though. My Velcon one was a similar price and doesn't look sturdy, but seems to be. I did look at the Novoflex one which looks even better and can be motorised, but it is "sharp intake of breath" price. Did I tell you I bought a Novoflex reverse adapter? Beautifully made, but due to the vanishing lens to subject distance (which the far end part of the adapter reduces by about 15mm), it was close to useless IMHO. Sold it again!   Posted: 01/13/2021 11:57:06
Tom Pickering   Tom Pickering
Using equal distances gives the software the best chance of smooth merges. I played around with Helicon Remote a week ago and the results were quite good in my test subjects. With just a macro lens, though, since it actually changes the focus of the camera, you cannot achieve 1:1, but with extension tubes, I'm hopeful it will be a fruitful endeavor.

It was cool controlling my camera from my computer, including seeing the LiveView image on my monitor as I focused by pressing keys. d;¬{D   Posted: 01/13/2021 12:18:30
Stuart Ord   Stuart Ord
Ollys can be controlled from a PC or a phone too. I did try it but haven't used it much. When I had a 14-50mm "macro" lens (another "macro" lens that can't do proper macro) it could be zoomed as well as focussed from the PC. Fun!   Posted: 01/13/2021 16:50:46

Carol Sheppard   Carol Sheppard
I never thought bread and was almost afraid to guess! ;-). As an abstract/macro, I like it. Particularly appealing to me is the gradations of hues of the same color. I also find the leading lines quite appealing. Not feeling the same on softness as the other comments, but maybe bring the highlights down a bit, esp. on the right-hand side.   Posted: 01/10/2021 15:54:50
Tom Pickering   Tom Pickering
Highlights down on right - got it! d:¬{D   Posted: 01/13/2021 11:16:49

Barbara Asacker   Barbara Asacker
Hi Tom
Yes it is definitely a great abstract image. I would also guess bread. You managed to capture the texture quite well.   Posted: 01/12/2021 17:49:03
Tom Pickering   Tom Pickering
It's quite surprising to me that everyone is seeing this as abstract. <...scratching head...> Maybe I'm more of an artist than I thought. d;¬{D   Posted: 01/13/2021 11:18:33


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